Diamantino is a 2018 fantasy comedy-drama film written and directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt. The film was produced by Justin Taurand, Maria João Mayer, and Daniel van Hoogstraten. It stars Carloto Cotta, Cleo Tavares, Anabela Moreira, and Margarida Moreira. The film follows Premiere association football star Diamantino after he loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification and the hunt for the source of genius. It was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prize.
Portuguese theatrical release poster
|Cinematography||Charles Ackley Anderson|
The film follows Diamantino, a world-famous Portuguese soccer star whose looks and persona bear an uncanny resemblance to that of real-life soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Diamantino was raised by a single father and has a pair of twin older sisters who verbally abuse and manipulate him so they can take advantage of his wealth. Diamantino is rich, beautiful, and a genius on the field but lacks almost any intelligence off the field. The one thing he does have is an abundance of empathy. So much so that after he rescues a boat full of refugees while on his yacht, he gets extremely affected by their tragedy and it causes him to miss the goal winning shot in the FIFA World Cup championship game. At the same time, Diamantino's father dies from a stroke after being harassed by his twin daughters.
After being blamed for losing the World Cup for Portugal, Diamantino's career is over and he becomes a national joke. While wallowing in sorrow over his career and his father's death, Diamantino sees an ad for child refugees who need a family. He goes on a TV interview to express his desire to adopt a refugee. Two lesbian Secret Service agents who have been investigating Diamantino for money laundering, see the interview and decide to capitalize on the opportunity. One of the agents named Aisha disguises herself as a boy named Rahim and poses as Diamantino's adopted refugee. Meanwhile, his sisters volunteer their brother to the ministry of propaganda whose plan is to clone Diamantino and create an entire soccer team of genius players. Diamantino, being a gullible and obedient little brother, doesn't suspect anything and goes to his appointments every day with genetic specialist Dr. Lamborghini thinking they are trying to get his mojo back. Diamantino's cloning treatment involves a large amount of hormones and he begins to grow boobs.
Agent Aisha's undercover investigation reveals that Diamantino is innocent and it is his sisters who are stealing from him and laundering the money. During Aisha's investigation, she and Diamantino begin to get close and her lesbian partner accuses Aisha of being too emotionally invested in the case. Diamantino's sisters see security camera footage of their fight and realize who Aisha is and what she's doing. The sisters attempt to kill Aisha but are interrupted when they see Diamantino arriving home. Aisha escapes and goes to Diamantino who takes her to the safety of his yacht. On the yacht, Aisha and Diamantino have a romantic moment and she reveals to him that she is a woman. The next morning, Dianmantino's sisters text him the video of Aisha and her girlfriend arguing and trick him into believing it was them who stole the money from him. Diamantino then goes to meet with his sisters who then kidnap him and bring him to the cloning facility. The last phase of the cloning is to transfer his genius to the clones, and it would kill Diamantino. However, the last phase fails because Diamantino is too dumb and doesn't have enough active brainpower to transfer. Meanwhile, Aisha breaks into the facility to rescue Diamantino but runs into the twins who try to kill her. Aisha ends up killing both the twins and tries to rescue Diamantino who realizes her feelings for him were true. Just as Aisha is about to get Diamantino to safety, she is shot by the director of the ministry of propaganda who then proceeds to try and drown her. Diamantino musters all of his strength and kills the director, saving Aisha. Diamantino realizes he got his mojo back, but decides to give up soccer, and he and Aisha live a happy life together.
- Carloto Cotta as Diamantino Matamouros
- Cleo Tavares as Aisha Brito
- Anabela Moreira as Sonia Matamouros
- Margarida Moreira as Natasha Matamouros
- Carla Maciel as Dr. Lamborghini
- Chico Chapas as Chico Matamouros
- Hugo Santos Silva as Mouro
- Joana Barrios as Minister Ferro
- Filipe Vargas as Helena Guerra
- Maria Leite as Lucia
- Manuela Moura Guedes as Gisele
- Leandro Vieira as Goalkeeper
The film was produced by Maria & Mayer production company in association with Les Films du Bèlier and Syndrome Films. The producers were Justin Taurand, Maria João Mayer, and Daniel van Hoogstraten. The film was shot in Portugal, France, and Brazil through their respective production companies.
In the worldwide box office, the film grossed a total of $235,041, 70.2% of which came from international box office and 29.8% from the US domestic box office. The film was distributed in the United States by Kino Lorber. It was released in 1 theater on its opening and made $6,412. The film made a total of $70,088. The film was distributed in France by Ufo Distribution. It was released in 38 theaters and made a total of $88,310. The film was distributed in Italy by I Wonder PIctures. It was released in 51 theaters and made a total of $9,386. The film was distributed in Portugal by Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais. It was released in 22 theaters and made a total of $65,087. The film was distributed in the United Kingdom by Modern Film Distributors. It was released in 3 theaters and made a total of $2,170.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 52 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Diamantino casts a singularly surreal eye on an ambitious array of subjects, emerging with a cinematic experience as inscrutable as it is unforgettable." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The film won multiple awards including the Critics' Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in France. In a review for the Los Angeles Times, film critic Justin Chang writes, that the film, "is the funniest gender-bending, human-cloning refugee-crisis soccer comedy I’ve ever seen, and also the most thoughtful." He goes on to talk about the film's critical reception as well as its depiction of politics saying that, "it was widely received as a welcome blast of escapism, a departure from the worthy, solemn art cinema that proliferates at international film festivals. But its madcap delirium can’t hide its insistent politics, its disdain for sham populism and its compassion for the disenfranchised. “Diamantino” is no less committed to these ideas than it is to its own uneven, unforgettable lunacy."
In an article written for Cinemascope, author Josh Cabrita praises Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes' directing abilities saying, "Abrantes and Schmidt broach issues such as the refugee crisis, neo-fascism, and surveillance technology with a camp concoction that effortlessly flattens this tapestry of topicalities."
The film was also given three out of five stars by film critic Peter Sobczynski on Roger Ebert's film review website, rogerebert.com. Sobczynski writes that, "the sheer weirdness of the whole enterprise has a charm to it and it certainly is never boring. Bewildering, maybe, but never boring." He goes on to write, "The stuff involving the mad scientist and the unexpected results of her experiments on Diamantino are absurd enough but enter the proceedings in such an arbitrary manner that it fails to land the impact that it might have had with a more focused screenplay."
|Cannes Film Festival||2018||Critics' Week Grand Prize||Daniel Schmidt
Les Films du Bélier
|Cannes Film Festival||2018||Palm Dog - Jury Prize||Daniel Schmidt
Les Films du Bélier
|Cannes Film Festival||2018||Queer Palm||Gabriel Abrantes
|Chéries-Chéris||2018||Grand Prize Chéries-Chéris||Gabriel Abrantes
|CPH PIX||2018||Politiken's Audience Award||Gabriel Abrantes
|European Film Awards||2018||European Comedy||Gabriel Abrantes
|Golden Globes, Portugal||2019||Best Actor||Carloto Cotta||Winner|
|Golden Globes, Portugal||2019||Best Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Miami Film Festival||2019||Jordan Ressler First Feature Award||Gabriel Abrantes
|Munich Film Festival||2018||Best Film By An Emerging Director||Gabriel Abrantes
|Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival||2018||Best Feature Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival||2018||Best European Fantastic Feature Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||2019||Cine Latino Award||Gabriel Abrantes
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||2019||New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize||Gabriel Abrantes
|Philadelphia Film Festival||2018||Special Jury Award - Narrative Feature||Gabriel Abrantes
|Philadelphia Film Festival||2018||Jury Award - Best Narrative Feature||Gabriel Abrantes
|Portland International Film Festival||2019||Jury Prize - Best of Ways of Seeing||Gabriel Abrantes
|Sarasota Film Festival||2018||Best Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Stockholm Film Festival||2018||Bronze Horse - Best Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival||2018||Best International Feature Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Thessaloniki Film Festival||2018||Audience Award - Open Horizons||Gabriel Abrantes
|Vilnius International Film Festival||2019||New Europe - New Names Competition - Best Film||Gabriel Abrantes
|Warsaw International Film Festival||2018||Free Spirit Award||Gabriel Abrantes
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