MDC's Tower Theater

MDC's Tower Theater

Brazil’s first brilliant badboy

by José Henrique Fonseca
Starring Rodrigo Santoro, Alinne Moraes, Angie Cepeda

Brazil | 2011 | 117 min | Drama, biography | Not Rated
Portuguese with English subtitles

Heleno tells the tragic life of one of Brazil's legendary soccer players, Heleno de Freitas. The outsized 1940s Botafogo striker lived a life out of fiction. He was, simultaneously, an athlete, a bohemian, a lawyer, a heartthrob, a genius, a gypsy, a short fuse, a tragedy. The film, starring well-known Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro as Heleno and Madrid-based Angie Cepeda, is based on Marcos Eduardo Neves’ book Nunca houve um homem como Heleno.

Screenplay by Fernando Castets, José Henrique Fonseca
Cinematography by Walter Carvalho
Music by Berna Ceppas

2012 Miami International Film Festival: Official selection
2012 Cartagena Film Festival: Official selection
2012 Lima Latin American Film Festival: Won, Best Actor (Rodrigo Santoro)
2011 Havana Film Festival: Won, Best Actor (Rodrigo Santoro)
2011 Toronto International Film Festival: Official selection

“Shooting in lovely black-and-white and on real locations around Rio that catch the flavor of the ‘40s and ‘50s, the co-writer and director unmistakably emulates Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, Raging BullHeleno is an impressive work and certainly elevates director Fonseca’s game and that of its brilliant star, Rodrigo Santoro, into world cinema status.” Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

“The film is all mood, evoking the charisma of the Hollywood Classics and mirroring them to the grit of a modern noir (…) Rodrigo Santoro’s performance as the title character is both ambitious and moving.” Dalila Jovanovic, Film Army blog, Canada

“In trying to mount soccer's answer to Raging Bull, Brazilian biopic Heleno possesses both a cultivated sense of noir and an antihero who fits the bill: Heleno de Freitas, the pre-Pele idol of Rio de Janeiro sports fans and, like Jake LaMotta, a man as famous for his violent temper as his for prowess on the field.” John Anderson, Variety

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