Saudade Cinema

Just say Mao to the left-leaning Brazilian Film Festival

So Normal, the film version of the popular Brazilian sitcom, sparkles with spastic humor and a tight Abbott and Costello exchange. The film features the antics of Rui, Vani, Martha, and Sergio (Luiz Fernando Guimarães, Fernanda Torres, Marisa Orth, and Evandro Mesquita), two pairs of mismatched couples who cross paths in back-to-back wedding ceremonies. When Martha refuses to lend Vani rice for Vani's ceremony, an onslaught of slapstick and bawdy humor is unleashed. It turns out that Martha and Sergio are secretly involved, and soon Rui and Vani fall for each other. The script is elevated by strong comedic performances, especially from Torres, who tears up the scenes in a saucy bridal gown, and Guimarães, whose brand of physical comedy is topnotch.

The sumptuous comedies could lure Lula to fits of laughter with their infectious wit, though the more serious films would unleash a torrent of nostalgic, cachaça-soaked tears.

The Brazilian Film Festival kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the plaza at Española Way. Admission is free. The films of José Wilker are presented at 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 7, through Friday June 11, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 512 Española Way. The film competition begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, and runs through Saturday, June 12, at the Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. All tickets cost $8 to $10. The Cristal Lens Awards are presented with a concert by Olodum starting at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at the Lincoln Theatre. Tickets range from $18 to $22. Call 877-877-7677 or see www.brazilianfilmfestival.com

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