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Brasilia 18%

The seminal career of Brazilian master Nelson Pereira dos Santos is considerable enough to withstand this risible pseudo-thriller, "Brasilia 18%." Pic's near-absence at fests speaks volumes, while insider political details restrict the drama from playing to wider auds beyond local screens.

With:
With: Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Karine Carvalho, Malu Mader, Othon Bastos, Bruna Lombardi, Carlos Vereza, Monica Keiko, Michel Melamed, Laura Lustosa, Herbert Richers Jr.

The seminal career of Brazilian master Nelson Pereira dos Santos is considerable enough to withstand his risible pseudo-thriller, “Brasilia 18%.” It remains truly puzzling, though, how one of South America’s greatest living filmmakers could have fashioned a drama that so flatly depicts a medical expert’s gradual uncovering of a vast conspiracy to conceal a murder and rampant corruption. Pic’s near-absence at fests (outside of a few like Tribeca and Santa Barbara) speaks volumes, while insider political details restrict the drama from playing to wider auds beyond local screens.

Apparently the only Brazilian medical expert available, Olavo (Carlos Alberto Riccelli) has been called from his Los Angeles home to identify a body suspected to be murder victim and government budget expert Eugenia (Karine Carvalho, seen in flashbacks). Olavo’s mind wanders off to his dead wife, with matters further confused by enough false suspects, corrupt government honchos and sexy molls to fill at least three plots. Stolid pacing and sloppy storytelling dull whatever political rage the pic means to generate.

Brasilia 18%

Brazil

Production: A Columbia Tristar Filmes release of a Regina Filmes/Videofilmes/Petrobras presentation. Produced by Marcia Pereira dos Santos. Co-producer, Mauricio Andrade Ramos. Directed, written by Nelson Pereira dos Santos.

Crew: Camera (Labo Cine do Brasil color), Edgar Moura; editor, Alexandre Saggese; music, Paolo Jobim; production designer, Arturo Uranga; costume designer, Beth Filipecki, Renaldo Machado; sound (Dolby Digital), George Saldanha; supervising sound editor, Carlos Cox; sound re-recording mixer, Jose Luiz Sasso. Reviewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival, Jan. 29, 2007. (Also in Tribeca Film Festival.) Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Karine Carvalho, Malu Mader, Othon Bastos, Bruna Lombardi, Carlos Vereza, Monica Keiko, Michel Melamed, Laura Lustosa, Herbert Richers Jr.

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