From award-winning director Roberto Moreira, Paulista is the story of [six] young peoplein search of love amid the frantic pace of São Paulo. What will a relationship unearth of their unspoken past, and can they dare hope for a happy future?—Paulista Tag Line

I attended the 2010 Palm Springs Film Festival earlier this year and enjoyed the foreign film Paulista, which was directed by award-winning Robert Moreira.  The film won Best Picture and Best Actress at the Hollywood Brazillian Film Festival and has received rave reviews in the independent film circuit.  Paulista features the following accomplished Brazillian actors: Silvia Lourenco, Maria Clara Spinelli, Danni Carlos, Paulo Vilhena, Fabio Herford, Leilah Moreno, and Gustavo Machado.  This is a Portuguese film with English subtitles—I purposely avoid movies with subtitles.  They can be distracting, and you spend most of the movie reading. You end up missing a lot of the visual aspects of the movie.  However, I found with Paulista the subtitles were not at all distracting.

The acting was natural, realistic; and there was a strong emphasis on realism.  In Paulista’s original synopsis there are three people searching for love; but there are actually six people searching for love—three young women and three young men. That’s all I’m going to say (I don’t want this to turn into a spoiler review). In my experience I have seen directors make exhaustive attempts to portray the types of relationships on the big screen that are portrayed in Paulista, and I have been very disappointed at the outcome.   

The real genius of this movie is the director’s choice of actors, as well as cinematographer (Marcelo Trotta), and music director (Livio Tratenberg).  Roberto Moreira has written and directed a compelling story that is entertaining, thought provoking, slightly erotic, comedic, and of course, full of surprises, creating a very entertaining film well worth the price of admission.  You will definitely feel the emotional connections with each character.  Paulista offers relatable human experiences in your own intimate relationships.  Don’t be surprised if you cry or feel frustration during this film.  My only advice when viewing?  Watch it with an open mind and you will have a great time.  This movie is a bit Ghost, a bit anti-Ghost . . . without the ghost and the pottery wheel!  It’s a movie filled with love, passion, and spirituality.  I’d compare it to Patrick Swayze’s/Demi Moore’s Ghost . . . he couldn’t live in her world, and she couldn’t live in his.

Reviewed by Devino Tricoche

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