Linha de Passe (15)

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Linha de Passe is co-directed by the director of Central Station and The Motorcycle Diaries, and co-written by the writer of City of God and Elite Squad. That's another way of saying that it's a grubby, grainy slice of South American urban life, but for once it isn't about drug-dealing gangsters; it's about hard-working people scrabbling to make ends meet. Its protagonists are four brothers who live with their pregnant single mother in a slum on the edge of traffic-clogged Sao Paulo. One is a motorcycle courier; another is a petrol-pump attendant who has turned to Jesus. A third wants to be a professional footballer, but turning 18 is "the end of the line". And the youngest is a boy who dreams of discovering his father's identity.

The documentary-like naturalism is unmatched by any recent North American film – for a start, the football looks like real football, but like a goalless World Cup final decided on penalties, it goes nowhere in particular until the contrived ending, which has five crises happening all at once.