Review: ‘Elvis & Madona’

In terms of representing recognizable gay life, "Elvis & Madona" harks back to the bad old days of "La Cage aux Folles."

In terms of representing recognizable gay life, “Elvis & Madona” harks back to the bad old days of “La Cage aux Folles” in its shrilly farcical vision of gender-blurring types played mostly for the enjoyment of a hetero audience. Lent some novelty, however unconvincing, as a romance between an ultra-feminine transgender male and a butch female bike messenger, it’s broad as a barn door and not much more intelligent. Nonetheless, colorful presentation and high energy should earn this genially cartoonish tale DVD placement in various territories.

While on her first pizza delivery job, rebellious young child of privilege Elvis (Simone Spoladore) saves transgender hairdresser and club performer Lady Madona (Igor Cotrim) from a severe beatdown by dreadlocked boyfriend/pimp Tripod Joao (a one-note-villainous Sergio Bezerra). While Joao is in jail, the other two fall in long-odds love. But Joao’s release brings melodramatic danger, of course, further complicated by Elvis’ unplanned pregnancy and her snobbish family (met in an embarrassingly crude segment). Slick pic’s perfs, presentation and storytelling are diverting enough if you can swallow its conceptual contrivance and more fleeting excesses, including a silly suspense climax.

Elvis & Madona



A Focus Films and Laffilmes Cinematografica presentation. (International sales: Laffilmes, Rio de Janeiro.) Produced by Marcelo Laffitte, Tuinho Schwartz. Executive producers, Sara Silveira, Schwartz. Directed, written by Marcelo Laffitte.


Camera (color, Super 16-to-HD), Uli Burtin; editor, Luis Guimaraes de Castro; music, Victor Biglione; production designer, Rafael Targat; costume designer, Ro Nascimento. Reviewed at Frameline (Showcase), San Francisco, June 19, 2010. (Also in Tribeca, Moscow film festivals.) Running time: 105 MIN.


Simone Spoladore, Igor Cotrim, Sergio Bezerra, Pia Manfroni, Aramis Trindade, Karam Machado, Arthur Brandao, Catarina Abdalla, Joana Seibel, Romeu Evaristo, Wendell Bendelack, Maite Proenca, Buza Ferraz, Jose Wilker, Duse Nacarati.

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