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Heleno

Rodrigo Santoro, far left, in Heleno

José Henrique Fonseca’s portrait of tempestuous Brazilian footballer Heleno de Freitas (Rodrigo Santoro) should be studied in film school—not as an exemplar but as a cautionary tale. From its flash-forward framing sequence to its glossy black and white images, the film emulates Raging Bull in nearly every particular, while failing to capture even a sliver of that tortured-soul sports-movie’s insight or visceral power. Although the newspaper clippings stuck to De Freitas’s wall attest to his erstwhile fame, Santoro’s soccer superstar comes off as a vainglorious boor, with little onscreen evidence of the skill that would have made him celebrated, or even tolerable.

Follow Sam Adams on Twitter: @SamuelAAdams

Release details

Rated: R
Duration: 117 mins

Cast and crew

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