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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie, wonderful performance by Sartoro in the lead role

7/10
Author: Keith Lockhart (keith.a.lockhart@gmail.com) from Oakville, Ontario, Canada
15 September 2011

Vintage black and white, beautifully shot. Fonseca and Santoro were both present at the Sept 14 Premiere at TIFF. They were very concerned in making this an accurate as possible biography of this syphilitic, arrogant Brazilian footballer. Santoro lost 30 pounds over the three months of shooting. Oscar might be calling in the wings. Beautiful portrayal of the club and beach scene of Rio in the1940's.

Heleno was aggressive and driven, very much a fanatical Botafogo player first, but aspiring to win the world cup, which he never accomplished. This was the time when the Maracana was being built, the 200,000 capacity stadium on the other side of the Corcovado from the beaches of Copacobana and Ipanema. Heleno only played there once, as demons chased him to the Sanitorium and death..

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie!!!!

10/10
Author: rodcarvalho67 from Brazil
12 March 2012

One of the best Brazilian films in years! Rodrigo Santoro is stunning. Surely the best role of his career! The story of the controversial soccer player, Heleno De Freitas, is worthy of a movie - done in black and white - which has a photograph and a sensational flawless direction. You want to see again to repair more in detail and beauty that it exudes.Surely, after passing through the film festivals around the world, will return to Brazil with a suitcase full of much-deserved awards. Do not forget to watch the movies this wonderful work of art.The Brazilian Cinema is coming with everything this year, please get out of the way!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

great film, great black and white, great actors

9/10
Author: alexandre michel liberman (tmwest) from S. Paulo, Brazil
23 July 2012

In the 1980s I and a friend read about Heleno, and thought about buying the rights to do a film about him. Somebody which was an expert on the subject put us off by stating we needed a lot of time,full dedication and financial resources to do that. We had none of that and gave up, but I always had in my mind a film about Heleno. And this I can say: This film came out much better than what I had in mind. Most important point: I dreamed about a film showing a lot of the football game itself, and I learned with time that although a game in real life is one of the most exciting feelings you will ever experience, it does not work the same way in a movie. And the film Heleno shows everything else so well, Heleno 's character above all which did not combine with the rest of the team, too individualistic. His womanizing, he had it all, fame and beauty. And above all how glory comes to people at certain moments, and some cannot accept that it is not eternal. A great film showing so well the Rio of the 40s in great black and white cinematography.

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Superb artistry and acting

8/10
Author: kristajanders from USA
10 May 2013

The first time I saw Heleno on DVD, it was disturbing and haunted me for months. By the fourth time, I was able to view it more objectively, specifically to see if there were not enough soccer scenes. The balance of scenes on and off the pitch is about right, but I agree with others that more soccer would be better. The contrast of black and white gave the film an edginess not possible with color. The photographs at the end contributed to the overall balance of emotion. Rodrigo Santoro was unbelievably superb and the actresses, Aline Moraes and Angie Cepeda complemented him well. Would we like to see more of him playing soccer? Sure, in another movie or as an added feature on the Heleno DVD. I recommend all of Santoro's films.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I didn't like the film...

Author: eugeniakos-294-372993 from Brazil
19 August 2012

Because this is a biography the film depressed me... Unfortunately I didn't know Heleno, but he was a myth, and as a myth he deserved a better story. It would be better if the film had exposed more the memory of Heleno as a player, respecting the man and giving emphasis to the talent and joys that he gave to the fans. But the photography is great, Rodrigo Santoro is wonderful, also is Aline Morais, the locations were correct and the color is justified by the time the facts took place but I didn't like the soundtrack too, very depressing...The production lost opportunity to give us a beautiful memory of such great player. I think Heleno deserves another chance.

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