Tonia, a veteran of Lisbon’s drag shows, faces competition from younger artists threatens her star status. Under pressure from her young boyfriend Rosário to assume her female identity, and get a sex change operation, Tonia struggles against her deeply-held religious convictions.
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I found this neither overlong nor overly lush. The extended scenes and vibrant colors evoked literary magical realism as it would appear on-screen. It is indeed long, but the length evokes Tonia's journey in a realistic way: some parts of her experience are lengthy and ripe with meaning, while some parts pass by almost too quickly to process.
La brave Tonia, touchante de bonté, court après son mec suicidaire, après son fils assassin, après son public infidèle et elle n’a pas le temps de se trouver elle même. Par ce beau portrait onirique, Joao Pedro Rodrigues ne tombe pas dans le piège des clichés.
3.5 I am really tired of transsexuals being portrayed as tragic, even if it is a good film. It makes the whole film so predictable, and it kinda pisses me off and perpetuates a fucked-up paradigm. Also I watched this film because I liked this screenshot and thought that the synopsis was about this character, but she only has a minor role. This film is actually about white people.
My 1st JPR - approached warily, given the obvious riffing on 13 Moons... But this is solid; unquestionably the product of a complex & well-developed vision. Exactly the beauty/depth/empathy/awareness combo I'm most drawn to. Characters that aren't so much tragic as frank about the tragedy of it all; quiet fierce full messy unapologetic dignity. Queerness. Nuanced, rich, & genuinely moving. Startling use of music 4.5
Spoilers à parte - até porque o título diz tudo - o funeral é a cena mais bem conseguida de todo o filme e talvez das mais tenebrosamente bonitas no cinema português. A Irene e a Maria Bakker são dignas de uma caturreira pela tarde a dentro com um bolo de chocolate a acompanhar.
Sublime tale of a drag queen whose life is consumed with caring for her junkie boyfriend, who wants her to become a woman. Rodrigues directs with long, fluid takes & vibrant color filters that create a singular and oddly enrapturing atmosphere.At its heart it's a celebration of humanity, a probing exploration of self-identity and image, of personal desires vs. expectations, striking a note that is so very, very true.
Rodriques' film on second watch (after its 2009 festival showing) performs even better now with the director's wit and experimental playfulness shining through. Santos is extraordinary as an aged drag queen who's career and looks are coming to an end. He plays Tonia, a showgirl with a young drug addled boyfriend amongst other problems and health issues and though the film is tragic in nature it is rich in humanity.