Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 41: Thu Feb 10

Diamantino (Abrantes/Schmidt, 2018): Castle Cinema, 9pm

This is a Jellied Reels (who specialise in surprise and special screenings) production.

Chicago Reader review:
The title character of this Portuguese comedy is a dim-witted soccer star who likes to imagine his opponents on the field are giant puppies. After he fails to make a penalty kick and loses the World Cup for Portugal, he decides to redeem himself by adopting an African refugee, unaware that the “boy” is actually an undercover female government agent investigating his family’s ties to a money-laundering operation. Meanwhile, Diamantino’s twin sisters sell out the hero to a far-right organization with designs of getting Portugal to leave the EU. There are also developments involving cloning, experimental psychotherapy, and a motorcycle-riding nun. The plot may suggest an early Pedro Almodóvar farce, but directors Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt (who previously made the underground feature Palaces of Pity) avoid big laughs, underplaying everything with the aim of making viewers marvel at how weird it all is. The strategy smacks of false modesty, since the film isn’t really all that weird—it’s too cannily plotted and self-aware to achieve the sort of gonzo energy one associates with genuine cult items.
Ben Sachs

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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