Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Early 1980's, a new decade was forming and with it, the law of amnesty and some relaxation of arbitrary laws brought in by the military regime allowed people to imagine brighter days, better future and new possibilities, and even criticize what was wrong then and before. AI-5 and its restrictions were over but censorship at the arts and TV still kept going, but other things no longer were viewed as subversive. In that scenery, many rock n'roll bands were formed and became the face of the decade with poetic, critical and intelligent lyrics, powerful sound, more than just music for the masses. In Brasilia, the nation's capital, several important groups surfaced: Legião Urbana, Capital Inicial and many others; the same Brasília that is used as background in "O Sonho Não Acabou" ("The Dream Isn't Over"), a fictional work that reflects plenty of what was real in the 1980's Brazil. Sergio Rezende's film is a love letter to the city, a relatively young city filled of rebel, deep thinkers and dreamers who believed and hoped for a better future. This is the best film representant of the Brasília generation.
The mosaic of characters are intertwined in stories of friendship, love, school routine, reflections on future and what to do with one's life after graduating from school. Among the best segments are: the unusual friendship between the rich politician's son (Miguel Falabella) with a poor mechanic (Chico Díaz); the couple in love (played by Lauro Corona and Lucélia Santos); the romantic and idealistic guy (Daniel Dantas) and his eternal confusion with everything surrounding him. And all those characters are united not only in the school they attend but also in their involvement in the town's cultural events, the parties, the troupe of actors and their wild performances, the radio station. Boys and girls just trying to find their place in this new world filled of possibilities.
"O Sonho Não Acabou" invests in some clichés and might even miss a deeper story, but there's something irresistible there. The atmosphere is amazing, it feels like the director is trying to produce a manifesto of encouragement to the nation's youth, "Wait, cause the best is yet to come". And it did. That was the same year the first direct elections took place (limited to elect state's governor only) after almost 20 years; and three years later, the regime was over, new president was elected and in few more years a new Constitution was created, more liberties and rights were added. There were problems and wrongdoings on the way but that generation never stopped believing in a fair society with freedom, justice and respect. I think this movie reflects this wild spirit. That generation, who might not have had it all but certainly knew they were happy and they can look back at it now and proudly say "those were the best of times". I envy them for this. I can only say I was born in that same era and that's all I've got. I didn't live all that but I can get the sense when I see movies like this, when I listen every bit of the amazing music played in those days, the greatest sound, even today. It was real.
Nostalgia has spoken. This review is a little strange but I need to talk about two scenes I like: a) the love scene between Lucélia and Corona. It's just so beautifully made and tragically ironic when you watch the movie's events unfold and compare with the real life (it shivers down the spine); and b) the unauthorized shot of president Figueiredo's motorcade, with Corona trying to reach him but he gets blocked by a soldier. You can see that the cinematography is different, obscure, and I still wonder why the scene wasn't cut the Federal Censors at the time. Just a good portrait of how that era really was.
All I can say is that the current generation couldn't match with a similar film. It has no ideology, no fight to be fought, no cause, nothing except dates and a dull sense of individualism. So, the dream reaches an end and needs to be reinvented. But Brasilia's generation of the 1980's? That dream was about to become real. 10/10
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