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Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business (1995)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 194 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

A biography of the Portuguese-Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda, whose most distinctive feature was her tutti frutti hat. She came to the US as the "Brazilian Bombshell" and was a Broadway ... See full summary »

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Title: Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business (1995)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Aurora Miranda ...
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A biography of the Portuguese-Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda, whose most distinctive feature was her tutti frutti hat. She came to the US as the "Brazilian Bombshell" and was a Broadway and Hollywood star in the 1940s. Written by Will Gilbert

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13 April 1995 (Brazil)  »

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Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business  »

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Connections

Features Banana-da-Terra (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

A Week-End in Havana
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Carmen Miranda
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User Reviews

Lacks ap-PEEL
25 September 2004 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

This was a very odd documentary. Normally, I enjoy this forum of film. I enjoy learning about a person or events that I normally would never learn about. I love learning about famous people that to the normal eye would have a normal life, but behind the scenes it was nothing but trials and tribulations. The only issue I have is that sometimes it is hard to create a good documentary, or just another episode of E! True Hollywood Stories. That is exactly the line that Carmen Miranda: Bananas is my Business crosses.

This film goes from decent documentary into a slime fest for the "bombshell" beauty. The problem with this film is that the filmmaker takes too many assumptions with Carmen. For example, there are some scenes that were not captured on film when Carmen was alive, so the director chose to go ahead and place an actress (or in this very odd case and ACTOR) in a reenacting role of Carmen. There were several moments of this film where it would skip from filmed Carmen, to this actor Carmen and the director would take certain risks.

These risks should not be taken when creating a documentary. Why? Because again you are crossing a line. You are taking a documentary, one that lives in the world of fiction, and throw in areas of non-fiction. This cannot happen. You cannot jump genres. How is your audience to believe you? After watching some truths from the taped Carmen from her films, I had trouble jumping from one to the other. I couldn't keep track on what the director wanted to show as "real" and what was dramatized. That is definitely no way to create a story. For example, we open this film to Carmen walking around in her bath robe and suddenly falls, we witness the mirror that Carmen is carrying shatter in front of her. Now I know that the director was trying to show that a beauty, concerned most about her appearance, had a mirror (the sheer instrument of vanity) break in front of her. BUT THIS NEVER HAPPENED. I had to remind myself that the director was taking a chance here, causing my stomach to go down south. Can directors of documentaries take these chances?

Can they dabble the line between fiction and non-fiction while trying to tell a "true" story? My answer friends, is NO. But again, all I am is a mere critic, no director of documentaries.

Grade: ** out of *****


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