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Bossa Nova

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Pedro Paulo (Antônio Fagundes) is a struggling Brazilian lawyer, surrounded by failed romance. Mary Ann Simpson (Amy Irving) is an American English teacher, living and working in Rio de Janeiro, still recovering from the loss of her husband two years earlier. Alone and unhappy, both have nearly given up hope of finding their lifelong soul-mate. Set amidst the enchanting landscape of Rio de Janeiro, Bossa Nova is a fresh, multicultural love story that captures the playful innocence of romance in all its disguises.

Persons of interest

  • Amy Irving .... Mary Ann Simpson
  • Antônio Fagundes .... Pedro Paulo
  • Alexandre Borges .... Acácio
  • Débora Bloch .... TâNia
  • Drica Moraes .... Nadine
  • Giovanna Antonelli .... Sharon
  • Rogério Cardoso .... Vermont
  • Sérgio Loroza .... Gordo
  • Flávio São Thiago .... Pecanha
  • Alberto de Mendoza .... Juan
  • Pedro Cardoso .... Roberto
  • Stephen Tobolowsky .... Trevor
  • Kazuyo Matsui .... Wan-Kim-Lau
  • Sérgio Sant'Anna .... Author: Miss Simpson
  • Alexandre Machado .... Screenwriter
  • Fernanda Young .... Screenwriter
  • Bruno Barreto .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Incest. In the interesting, filmic sort of way, not the Traditional Family Values sort of way.

An internalised structure (that's why it's incestuous) is great for a comedy, doubly great for a romantic comedy. It brings in all sorts of complications of the tangled web sort that a straight line drama cannot. The saving grace of this film is that there are more strands than there can be resolutions so someone has to lose out. Just like life really.

Amy glows from her first appearance on the screen to her very last. She is the archetypal foreigner who belongs more than the locals do. Now and then a person will be born who never feels as Relaxed and Comfortable as their siblings. There is no particular reason; all they know is that life is unsatisfying. Then they travel to some foreign culture and it's as if they've come home. They have found their place in life and are given spiritual reward which fills them with an inner light. Amy presents that essence perfectly.

I'm back.

Antônio complements Amy's self-discovery by being lost. His foundations (marriage, family, work) are stripped away from him until there is nothing left but himself. That, finally, allows him to find his place in life, which is, of course, with Amy.

Enough of the main characters, what about the others? Well, they're more than mere background fill. Their lives bib and Bob around so much that they could fill an entire film themselves. Some of them are funny, some are tragic and others are heroic: they support Amy and Antônio without detraction. Rio itself envelops the characters in a warm glow, suffusing every scene, pushing the loveless toward romance. It pushes aside the tourist brochures and comes to life as a character in its own right.

The cinematography is outstanding. Every scene has been carefully planned for the Widescreen presentation while the imagery quite simply takes your breath away. Likewise, the soundtrack resonates with the Bossa Nova beat, keeping your toes tapping under the seat.

Bossa Nova is a great Send me to Hollywood film that pays homage to the timelessness of romance and love. It's so well done that you'll leave the sofa with a smile on your face, full of romantic thoughts of your own. Enjoy.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

95 minutes (1:35 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 6 December 2000

Cinema surveillance images

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