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A better title for this meandering rites-of-passage tale would be ‘Treading Water’. Director Heitor Dhalia sets up a group of intriguing characters (a middle-class family on the brink of collapse) in an interesting location (an isolated Brazilian coastal town) and then can’t think what to do with them.

Vincent Cassel plays Matthias, a successful author and father of three kids, the most troublesome of whom is 14-year-old Filipa (Laura Neiva). Mum’s an alcoholic, so both Filipa and Mathias are free to wander as they choose, exploring the sensual pleasures of this remote community. The performances – particularly confident first-timer Neiva – are strong, and the highly saturated colour scheme adds a heady, tropical intensity, though Dhalia’s tendency to shoot large groups of underage girls in increasingly skimpy beach wear begins to feel slightly unnecessary. But the film’s biggest problem is its repetitive, meandering script, a catalogue of coming-of-age clichés – the first date, the first kiss, the first sip of booze – that can’t find anywhere new to go.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday November 19 2010
Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Heitor Dhalia
Screenwriter: Heitor Dhalia
Cast: Laura Neiva
Vincent Cassel
Debora Bloch
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