Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Orfeu Negro
Brazil/France/Italy, 1959. Dispat Films, Gemma, Tupan Filmes. Screenplay by Marcel Camus, Jacques Viot, based on the play Orfeu do Carnaval by Vinicius de Moraes. Cinematography by Jean Bourgoin. Produced by Sacha Gordine. Music by Luiz Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Production Design by Pierre Guffroy. Film Editing by Andree Feix.
Gorgeous, musical film version of the Orpheus myth set during the carnival in Rio De Janeiro. The hero is now a guitar-playing streetcar worker who falls in love with Eurydice, a young girl who has come to Rio to visit her cousin and see the festival. No matter that he already has a possessive girlfriend named Mira (whose name in Greek means fate, incidentally, a role she eventually plays in the film’s climax) who isn’t about to give her man up so easily.
Marcel Camus directs at a brisk, entertaining pace, with a musical score co-written by Antonio Carlos Jobim that catapulted his work to international stardom.
Academy Award: Best Foreign Language Film
Cannes Film Festival Award: Palme D’Or
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Film