Linha De Passe (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Emotionally engaging Brazilian drama with strong performances and impressive neorealist direction from co-directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas.

What's it all about?
Linha de Passe is set in Sao Paulo and stars Sandra Corveloni as pregnant single mother Cleuza, who has four sons by different fathers. While Cleuza worries that her pregnancy will cost her her cleaning job, her sons are all dealing with problems of their own: talented 18-year-old Dario (Vinicius de Oliveira) needs to come up with a bribe if he's going to have a final shot at a footballing career; ladies' man Denis (Joao Baldasserini) spots a way to make some illicit extra cash from his job as a motorcycle courier; Dinho (Jose Geraldo Rodrigues) struggles with his religious convictions after being accused of theft; and young Reginaldo (Kaique Jesus Santos) becomes obsessed with a bus driver he's convinced is his father and tries to find a way to attract his attention.

The Good
Co-directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas eschew the violence and gunplay of recent Brazilian hits in favour of a more hopeful, neorealist approach. That said, it's interesting to compare Linha de Passe with the recent City of Men, both of which approach the issue of absent fathers in markedly different ways.

All four young actors deliver impressive and engaging performances, while Corveloni is heartbreakingly good as Creuza (she deservedly won a Best Actress award at Cannes). It's a testament to both her performance and the direction that the film is able to find devastating moments in the smallest of details, such as when Creuza arrives at work to find that her boss has hired extra help without telling her.

The Great
The film is beautifully shot, with stunning photography by Mauro Pinheiro and some impressive location work that really gives you the feel of Sao Paulo. Also, without spoiling the ending, it's worth noting that Reginaldo's story was apparently based on actual events.

Worth seeing?
Linha de Passe is an emotionally engaging and superbly made drama that often feels like a slightly less miserable Ken Loach movie. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Linha De Passe (15)
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Content updated: 22/07/2018 15:50

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