To Die Like a Man

It's some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious.

With:
With: Fernando Santos, Alexander David, Goncalo Ferreira de Almeida, Chandra Malatitch, Jenny Larrue, Cindy Scrash, Fernando Gomes, Miguel Loureiro, Andre Murracas.

It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running time of 138 minutes makes this a real drag. Product-hungry gay-themed fest circuit should provide hospice care before “Man” perishes in obscurity.

Aging drag artiste Tonia (Fernando Santos, not bad) is the queen of the club she’s been gigging at for years, but rising stars like Jenny (Jenny Larrue) threaten to dethrone her. At home, younger lover Rosario (Alexander David), an on-off junkie, would like Tonia to have a sex change, but at heart Tonia’s a good Catholic who thinks she should remain as God made her, although breast implants are kosher. A son (Chandra Malatitch) Tonia fathered years ago shows up, AWOL from the army after killing a man, but the plotline, like several others, leads nowhere. Too many scenes feature characters listening to music or singing whole songs. Lensing looks nice.

To Die Like a Man

Portugal - France

Production: A Rosa Filmes (Portugal)/Ad Vitam (France) production, with the support of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, RTP, FICA, Eurimages, CNC. (International sales: Films Boutique, Berlin.) Produced by Maria Joao Sigalho. Co-producer, Judith Nora. Directed by Joao Pedro Rodrigues. Screenplay, Rodrigues, Rui Catalao, Joao Rui Guerra da Mata.

Crew: Camera (color), Rui Pocas; editors, Rui Mourao, Rodrigues; production designer, Rui Guerra da Mata; set designer, Fernando Areal; costumes, Patricia Doria. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 22, 2009. Original title: Morrer como um homem. Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 138 MIN.

With: With: Fernando Santos, Alexander David, Goncalo Ferreira de Almeida, Chandra Malatitch, Jenny Larrue, Cindy Scrash, Fernando Gomes, Miguel Loureiro, Andre Murracas.

More Film

  • 'A Star Is Born' to World

    'A Star Is Born' to World Premiere at Venice Film Festival

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • SUPER CYCLE. When Helen aka Elastigirl

    Korea Box Office: ‘Incredibles 2’ Beats ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • Bobby Robson Film Goes International With

    Bobby Robson Documentary Goes International With Dogwoof (EXCLUSIVE)

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Skyscraper’ Tops China Box Office With $48 Million Opening

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • ABBA performing as an unknown band

    The Secret Majesty of ABBA: They Were the Feminine Pop Opera of Their Time

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • Dwayne Johnson's 'Skyscraper' Leads China Box

    China Box Office Propels 'Skyscraper' to $75 Million Overseas

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: 'Equalizer 2' Narrowly Edges Past 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' to Land at No. 1

    It’s some feat to make a full-on melodrama about drag queens with murderous children and junkie lovers tedious, but Portuguese helmer Joao Pedro Rodrigues manages it with “To Die Like a Man.” Like its lip-synching she-male heroine, pic channels ideas by other filmmakers’ (particularly Fassbinder and Almodovar) in a semi-interesting way, but criminally protracted running […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content