Thursday, June 10, 2010
BLUE EYES AT THE BRAZILIAN FILM FESTIVAL
I enjoyed Blue Eyes (Olhos Azuis) at the Brazilian Film Festival.
It features a terrific performance by David Rasche, a seasoned American actor, brilliantly portraying a very complex and multi-faceted character, and a lovely performance by a charming Brazilian newcomer, Cristine Lado. The film is mostly in English, which Lado manages with appropriately accented conviction.
The script has an interesting structure: a melodramatic confrontation in the custom's holding area at JFK, intercut with a fairy-tale road trip in Brazil some time later.
Blue Eyes feels like it was written in retribution for some particularly unpleasant experience getting through customs into NY. The behaviour of the customs officers is unbelievably shocking and unprofessional. Unfortunately, the script is literally "unbelievable," so the over-the-top melodrama must be taken with a liberal dose of "suspension of disbelief."
Similarly, the young prostitute played by Lado, who guides the (now) ex-customs officer played by Rasche through Brasil has a "heart of gold," the soul and morals of an angel the detective skills of an efficient genius, and the face and figure to make "Pretty Woman" look dumpy. Nasty, sick, drunk, dirty old men don't usually get this lucky.
The film is slightly compromised by the blurb for it in the program and on IMDB which gives away too much and is confusing besides. On the other hand, the credits for the Brazilian actors on IMDB would benefit from more pictures and better bios.
Despite the lack of realism, melodrama can be fun, and fairy tales with beautiful women are even better. The outstanding acting also makes this a winner.
After the film, I stopped in at the Brazilian Film Festival lounge. Nice music, not too loud; full house but not crowded; and the actors were there, being friendly to all who wanted to talk. It was a great scene.