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Passionada is a romantic comedy about a Portuguese widow whose husband, a fisherman, died at sea. The widow's naive teenage daughter wants to be a professional gambler and she convinces her mother to date a British man who's new in town. The widow falls for the Brit, a professional gambler who pretends to be in the fishing business. Written by
Passionada (2002), directed by Dan Ireland, is a love story that will either fascinate or frustrate you. Some have called Passionada formulaic, and the film certainly begins with boy meets girl and continues from there, but I bought into the film and the love story, and I enjoyed the movie.
Although the basic plot is not subtle, the sense of the Portuguese ethnic community in New Bedford is well portrayed, and the singing of fado--central to the story--is wonderful. (The young fadista Misia provides the fado singing for Sofia Milos--the film is worth seeing for the music alone.)
Sofia Milos portrays a beautiful young widow. Much is made of the fact that she doesn't look old enough to be the mother of Emmy Rossum, who was 16 when the movie was filmed. Actually, Milos could be the mother of a 16-year-old, but she's so youthful and attractive that it's hard to think of her as the somewhat older and wiser woman she's supposed to be portraying.
Anyway, who cares? If you want to see a movie with gritty realism about the hardships of widowhood or the fishing industry, see a different film. If you want to see a love story set in scenic New Bedford, and accompanied by the fado, see Passionada.
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