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Passionada
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Reviews & Ratings for
Passionada More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

2 out of 4 stars for its lack of authenticity of the Portuguese language and cuisine

Author: bosbury (bosbury@hotmail.com) from Connecticut, U.S.A.
6 September 2004

The cinematography is fantastic. I even shed some tears as did my friend.

However, my brother and I, both born in Portugal, were disappointed with the pronunciation of the Portuguese, more Brazilian Portuguese than Portuguese from Portugal. Although the Fado lip sung by the main character was moving it was obvious that the actress was lip singing. Sofia Milos did a fine job as Celia Amonte, but aren't there any Portuguese-American aspiring actresses in Hollywood? The reason my Big Fat Greek Wedding was such a sleeper success is that most of the cast playing Greeks were Greek-American. It is obvious that the research of the Portuguese culture, language and cuisine was minimal. I'm amazed that this movie was filmed on location in New Bedford, MA, yet there were so many ethnic faux-pas. Were any authentic Portuguese-Americans advisors on this movie? Why is it that other American ethnic groups can have movies made of them with correct speech, etc. and that the Portuguese can not? Example: Mystic Pizza. At least Mystic Pizza only played Portuguese folkloric music not Brazilian Samba music. If Hollywood is to make a movie about the Portuguese in America they should keep it Portuguese.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

When Charles met Celia

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
9 April 2005

Independent film making is to be commended because it brings a different view about things that are so over blown by mainstream Hollywood fare. That said, it's completely incomprehensible the negative comments generated by "Passionada". This film, directed with style by Dan Ireland, deserves better than what has been written in IMDb.

Most of the venom directed to "Passionada" seems to be about its authenticity and the ethnicity of the characters being misrepresented by the cast assembled. Those complaints are baseless. Do the same people that put it down have anything to say when they watch other mainstream films that have no logic at all? I don't think so. Lighten up, people it's only a film that aims at entertaining its viewers.

"Passionada" is a small film about loss and redemption told in cinematic terms by a cast that plays well together. Jason Isaacs, the card sharpie Charles Beck, finds love with the dark and sultry Celia Amonte, played by Sofia Milos. Their love grows in spite of all what Charles hides from his past.

Lupe Ontiveros, an excellent actress, doesn't have much to do in the film, but then it's not her story we are watching. Emmy Rossum is the rebel daughter. Seymour Cassel and Theresa Russell are fine in their small roles.

The town of New Bedford, Massachussets, serves as the perfect background for this romantic comedy.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Another familiar ethnic story

7/10
Author: longislandlloyd from United States
22 May 2005

"Passionada" is a very light and enjoyable film. But the story has been done a million times over by Hollywood and on TV. It's the typical tale of a worldly, WASPy guy who meets and romances an ethnic, family-devoted girl. You just knew that there would be a clash of cultures and an eventual break-up. She would undoubtedly tempt her guy with ethnic food, dance and song, and even sensual sex. And he would tempt her with excitement, luxuries, and new adventures that only a man from outside her world could promise her. Sound familiar? Some people here complained about the lack of authenticity due to the director using non-Portuguese actors and Brazilian music. I don't think it made any difference. The acting and music and shots of the locale were very authentic and first-rate. The only thing that I couldn't figure out was all the casino scenes, since there are no casinos in New Bedford, Mass. The nearest ones are Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Conn., over an hour away. And Vicky, the young daughter, drove her scooter all the way over there and back on school nights? And if Charlie was such a professional card counter at Blackjack, banned from every casino, why was he broke? I must've missed something during a bathroom break. Other than that, "Passionada" is a fun film and a good insight into Portuguese-American culture, if that's your thing.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A Delicious Romance

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 January 2005

In a Portuguese fishing colony, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the widow singer of "Fado" Célia Amonte (Sofia Milos) has been grieving the death of her beloved fisherman husband for seven years. She lives with her teenager daughter Vicky (Emmy Rossum), and her mother-in-law is her neighbor next door. The English gambler Charles Beck, who is spending some days with his wealthy friends Daniel Vargas (Seymour Cassel) and Lois (Theresa Russell), falls in love with her, and lies about his past to conquer the love of Célia. "Passionada" is a nice romance. Indeed, it is literally a delicious romance, with many Portuguese and Spanish dishes, which made me feel hungry. The story is predictable, but a great entertainment, and the cast is very attractive. I glanced some reviews in IMDb, and I really found very funny comments. First of all, the Portuguese spoken along the movie is from Portugal. There is a joker, who wrote that the accent was from Brazil, but only the Portuguese people who live in Brazil has that accent (just in time, my grandmother was Portuguese and I am Brazilian, so I can tell about accents). I do not know Spanish, but "Passionada" is neither a Portuguese nor an English word. I believe that it might be a combination of the English word "Passion" (from Charles Beck, the English card player) with "Apaixonada" (from Portuguese, meaning in love), with the author playing with words. Célia prepares many dishes of fish and seafood for Charles, and she has never mentioned that they are Portuguese dishes (inclusive one of them is from Mozambique). There are dozens of ways of preparing "bacalhau" (codfish), and not only oven-made, and the "bolinhos de bacalhau" (codfish cakes) are perfect. Indeed, Paella is a typical Spanish dish, but her intention is to show Charles different meals she was able to cook. In accordance with IMDb information, Sofia Milos was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and not in Greece. At the street parade, the song is sang with the Portuguese of Portugal accent. The song, when they dance is "A Felicidade", a Brazilian "bossa nova" of Vinicious de Morais and Tom Jobim (it is not a "samba", or "soft???-samba"). It is amazing the number of nonsense I read about this movie in IMDb. The alternative end is horrible and fortunately was deleted. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): This DVD is not available in Brazil.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Of Passion, Love and Fish in the Casino

8/10
Author: AZINDN from United States
7 December 2005

Charlie (Jason Isaac) is a card player of dubious luck, who lives in a cheap motel and is going nowhere until he meets and woos a conservative and beautiful Portugese seamstress/singer, Celia, played by the stunning Sofia Milos (CSI: Miami). Celia has a meddlesome teenage daughter, Vickie (Emmy Rossum) who wants to learn how to count cards by blackmailing Charlie into teaching her, but he is banned from all casinos. Vickie wants to hook her mother up with a new man but her computer dating schemes fail. In the meanwhile, Charlie's only friends, a wealthy couple, Lois (Theresa Russell) and Danny Vargas (Seymore Cassel), lend him their Jaguar XKE, sailboat, and home to impress the widow that he is a successful and wealthy entrepreneur. It sounds like a typical dating game setup except for the background settings of the Portugese fishing community, mouthwatering seafood cooking, and casino gaming that flesh out the story. Love, fish, and lying to make points with the mother, Charlie learns how to turn his life around the hard way through his deceptions which backfire, and Sofia tries to forget the husband whose death has left her prematurely widowed yet not dead from the neck down.

Through the interferences of Vickie, lots of fish as unlikely props, and a sappy storyline, this is an entertaining film which allows the wonderful character actor Jason Isaac to show another side to his already powerful acting chops. Emmy Rossum is adequately irritating in a pre-Phantom of the Opera role which suggests her growth from typical teen to ingénue in training. However, it is the vibrant Sofia Milos as Celia who gives a rounded performance from cloistered widow to sensuous nightclub chanteuse that surprises and delights.

This is a small story about love in all its forms and definitions. Thoroughly enjoyable and wonderful for a date nite or simply rainy day, Passionada entertains.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Just slightly flawed but what movie isn't? *SPOILER*

9/10
Author: Lady_Phantom from Canada
23 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

****SPOILER WARNING**** I'm not really one for romantic comedies but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Though the romantic comedy thing might be a bit misleading (sadly not very much comedy but it's fine) it was a familiar storyline told in a different and unique way.

The characters were absolutely wonderful people; ESPECIALLY Emmy Rossum's portrayal of Vicky. Vicky is just irresistible in this movie, so full of life and youth, and yet she cares so deeply for her mother. I know Emmy Rossum will be acting for a long time to come. A jewel among actresses indeed! Her scenes were very believable (not that any of the other's scenes weren't) but I ended up enjoying her performance most of all.

Every character proves that we are only human and are prone to fate and bad things but we just need to get that boost right back up onto our feet. The movie tells it's story well, with great direction and SUPERB scenery.

But there was one scene I had a problem with. The love scene with Celia and Charles. It just came way too soon. They were only seeing each other for such a short time, they hardly even kissed yet, and then during dinner only THEN do they kiss. Then they end up sleeping together? For a woman who is still mourning over her deceased husband and doesn't want to date again, she sure contradicts herself. It came just much too soon. I would have enjoyed it better if it had come much later. True though, I do not control the character but still, it would have made more sense to me if it came later, not when they were almost still strangers to each other.

However, the music was very enjoyable and lovely, and it's not just the scenes where Celia is singing. It's also that beautiful, twinkling piano music that just floats around in some scenes and sets a wonderful mood.

All in all, I'd give it a 9/10. A very deserving movie indeed! A must-have for romantics!

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Nada passion

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
8 April 2004

"Passionada" is all about Milos as a beautiful Portuguese widow and cabaret singer who mourns the loss of her fisherman husband while her daughter and gambling prodigy Rossum consorts with professional card player Issacs to get good old mom out of her funk. The result is a beautifully shot film with marginally interesting characters and an uneventful story which spends most of its time with Issacs courting a reluctant Milos with his English accent and glib patter. The film wanders somewhere between romantic drama and romantic comedy not taking a firm position thereby diluting its ability to be engaging in either genre. Nonetheless, romantics and sentimentalists will appreciate this languorous but pretty film with a cosmopolitan flavor. (B-)

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

About your lead review

Author: danland2 from Los Angeles, Ca.
28 August 2003

Dear IMDb,

The lead review you have on the site -- Straight To TV Land -- is

outdated and misleading; the film has an entirely new ending that is not

relevant to these comments. The film was also significantly re-edited

since the test screening that this review relates to. Just read the

other comments on the site and you will see. Please, let this review sit

at the end where it belongs as it is about a movie that is no longer the

movie this gentleman is writing about.

Dan Ireland, Director, Passionada .......

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Lovely Romance

9/10
Author: kate98 from United States
7 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A very enjoyable movie. The characters are wonderful and the actors did a great job portraying them. This movie is like watching a romance novel come to life. It has almost everything a perfect romance should. There is the attractive hero who is misguided but a good person deep inside. It has the respectable, independent heroine who is reluctant to once again be hurt by love. The secondary characters are very likable. The scenes between Vicky and Charlie are especially touching because it's obvious how much they care about Celia yet also care about each other. Charlie's friends and Vicky's grandmother also add much to this movie. Passionada is pure romantic fantasy which, unfortunately, you don't often see done well on film. The sensuality in this movie is impressive, especially considering its subtlety.

*****Possible Spoilers******

This movie was given to me on VHS as a birthday gift and I loved it so much I had to get the DVD to watch the alternate ending. In many ways I actually prefer the alternate ending to the one that was used. The one that was used probably went better with the overall tone of the movie and is definitely upbeat, however the alternate ending gave the characters even more depth because it showed just how much Charlie, Celia, and Vicky truly cared about each other. It was nice just seeing other scenes with these characters. I also liked the little bit of action in the alternate ending, which is something that most romantic movies, including this one, sorely lack.

I only had a few slight problems with the movie. In the ending that was used, a certain plot point was left unresolved. This issue is addressed in the alternate ending. Also in the ending that was used, there is a scene with fish that seemed completely out of place and was rather a turnoff. Last, I could understand Celia's final decision about Charlie if the circumstances in the alternate ending had occurred. In the ending that was used, I can't imagine her making the choice she did.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fado means fate in Portuguese

9/10
Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York
7 May 2006

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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