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film review

Carloto Cotta is pictured in a still from Diamantino.Maria & Mayer

  • Diamantino
  • Written and directed by: Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt
  • Starring: Carloto Cotta
  • Classification: N/A
  • 96 minutes

Rating:

3.5 out of 4 stars

The film starts to make a perfect sort of nonsense-sense, perfectly in line with the cult-friendly sensibilities of TIFF’s after-dark program.Maria & Mayer

Watching the first few minutes of Diamantino at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September, I was genuinely puzzled as to why this sports film, of all things, was acting as that year’s Midnight Madness closer.

Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s feature opens on a Portuguese soccer star (Carloto Cotta) in the middle of a World Cup match, all the country’s eyes on the Ronaldo-esque hunk. But then a bunch of giant puppies appear to the title character in a dreamy haze, his evil twin sisters start to conspire against him, a genetic engineer starts messing around with clown fish DNA, a pair of lesbian-lover cops hatch a plan involving a nun’s habit and offshore bank accounts. It all starts to make a perfect sort of nonsense-sense, perfectly in line with the cult-friendly sensibilities of TIFF’s after-dark program.

Part political satire, part fantasy, part I-don’t-even-know-what, Diamantino is exactly the type of surreal concoction that begs to be discovered by unsuspecting audiences. The fact that it includes one of the best punchlines involving the word “Canada” in recent memory is simply a delightful bonus.

Diamantino opens April 4 at The Cinematheque in Vancouver