Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Murilo Benício, Carolina Ferraz, Emílio de Melo, Beth Goulart, Irene Ravache
Director: Sandra Werneck
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Fifteen years ago, Carlos went to the cinema to meet Julia, his university colleague with whom he was in love. She never showed up. Fifteen years later, we follow three different "what if" versions of Carlos' life. This r... more »
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Lovely movie. Disappointing DVD.
dooby | 02/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This lovely Brazilian film is about the different roads a man's love life can take. It follows 3 separate possible lifelines. Each runs concurently in intercutting scenes, so you could be confused if you don't pay attention, especially as they all involve the same 2 main characters. The events branch off from one crucial moment in the young man's life - being stood-up by a date.
In one life he goes on to marry another woman and ends up in a loveless marriage. In another he remains a bachelor playboy still living with his mother after 15 years. In these first 2 scenarios, he meets again the girl who stood him up, after a span of 15 years and we get to see what happens. In the third scenario, he actually marries the girl who stood him up but then deserts her for a gay man. The girl (his wife) then tries to win him back. The different outcomes in the 3 storylines suggest that maybe there isn't that special "someone" out there; that our lives and our loves are just shaped by the chance circumstances we find ourselves in; that we can fall in love with other people just as easily as the ones we eventually end up with.
This film deserves 5 stars or more but this DVD is such a disappointment. I've never seen this in the theater but according to IMdB this movie was released in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (very wide). This DVD however presents a fullscreen version. To convert such a widescreen image to fullscreen entails cropping out a lot of the picture from both edges of the frame. And I believe this was in fact Panned-&-Scanned (actually cutting up the image) and not an open-matte version because the compositions look positively cramped in some scenes. The opening credits are in fact letterboxed to about 1.66:1 so as not to cut off the credits.
My disappointment stems from the fact that this was released by TLA, and I had formed a good impression of TLA having just watched another DVD released by them, the Serbo-Croatian romance "Loving Glances", which had been given a beautiful anamorphic transfer in its original widescreen aspect ratio. So how did this release end up in fullscreen? That said, the picture quality, even in this fullscreen mutilation, judged in terms of color, sharpness and contrast is admirable.
Another complaint for this DVD is that the English subtitles are burned directly onto the print in bright yellow lettering and cannot be turned off. Granted, not many people understand Portuguese but then not many people understand Serbo-Croatian either, so why optional subtitles for one and not the other? Some people don't like ugly subtitles marring the screen. Especially when the English translations aren't all that good in the first place.
The last gripe is that the end credits are cut off halfway. This happens in both these films from TLA. This is especially bad because both films have lovely songs at the end that are rudely cut. I suppose TLA thinks it can treat its customers so shabbily because it's one of the few distributors to bring in foreign films. Sad."
A new blurring of the line between "gay" and "straight."
giovannif7 | West Hollywood, California United States | 08/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Possible Loves (Amores Possiveis) is a fascinating Brazilian film which could only have come out of a production company far from the Hollywood movie mills. Impossibly handsome Brazilian actor Murilo Benicio stars as Carlos. He has arranged to meet Julia (Carolina Ferraz) at a move theater one rainy night in Rio De Janiero, but she never shows up. As the two meet again fifteen years later, the movie splinters into three possible scenarios as to what happened to Carlos in the intervening years. One scenario theorizes what would have happened if Carlos had married, a second looks at Carlos's life as a confirmed bachelor, and the third explores Carlos after he discovers his identity as a gay man. It is this third scenario which makes the film stand out from English speaking films with similar themes. Hollywood would never have the guts to include a realistic, non-homophobic gay-positive scenario in an otherwise straight-oriented romantic film. This Brazilian treat allows for the possibility that Carlos could just as easily find happiness with another man as with a woman, without denigrating his identity or masculinity. In all three scenarios, Carlos is an intelligent, charming man with fully-realized relationships with those around him. This is top notch filmmaking from start to finish - writing, directing, acting, sets and locations, cinematography - all excellent by any standards. I highly recommend it for gay film buffs, as well as mixed groups and open-minded straight folks.
Charming Brazilian film with excellent performances
Bill | Seattle, Washington United States | 01/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hats off to TLA Releasing, which is burning onto DVD worthwhile independent films that most of us would not have the chance to catch outside of a film festival. "Possible Loves" is one of those.If you like films like "Sliding Doors" that show you various possible life scenarios, then this is for you. Carlos is stood up in a movie theater, and we get to follow three possible life stories that branch out from that one event.What really grounds the comedy-drama is the exceptional performance of Murilo Benicio as Carlos. He succeeds in making his character distinct in all three scenarios, and he's both hilarious and touching. He's amazing -- not to mention, exceedingly handsome. The supporting actors are also wonderful.If you don't like the ragged look of some independent films, there's no need to worry about that here. The movie is beautifully directed and filmed (except for a couple of indoor scenes), and it captures some breathtaking Rio settings."
Three Tales in One: Possibilities of Destiny
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Amores Possíveis' (POSSIBLE LOVES) is fine little film from Brazil courtesy of writers Paulo Halm and Maya Werneck Da-Rin and polished young director Sandra Werneck. Filmed in Rio de Janeiro in Portuguese, the story of three possible outcomes of a potential love affair is cleverly conceived and is acted with aplomb by a fine cast of actors, and though billed as a comedy it shines with some dramatic truths that carry it far beyond the usual fluff so often before us in this country.
The 'story' is three stories in one: fifteen years ago Carlos (the inordinately handsome and talented Murilo Benício) was to meet a fellow college student Júlia (beautiful and elegant Carolina Ferraz) and the film takes that moment and creates three possibilities: 1) Carlos married Júlia and had a son with her and in the present has left her for a male lover Pedro (Emílio de Melo), 2) Carlos longed for her while being married to a comfortable but not exciting Maria (Beth Goulart) and meets Júlia as the film opens, leaving his Maria for his long desired romance with her, and 3) Carlos has never married, is a lothario living with his possessive widowed mother (Irene Ravache) and encounters the artsy looney Júlia as yet another conquest. How these three possibilities for the true ending of a fifteen year missed cinema appointment reveal the true version is the story of the film. Using the same actors for the various roles and mixing the progress of each story variation can confuse the audience at times, but the actors are so fine in demonstrating the varied aspects of each character transformation that the film becomes a suspenseful puzzle. The endings of each version contain important lessons about love and, well, you just have to watch it to enjoy the details.
The film fizzes with sexual excitement on many levels and is completely unafraid to take a realistic look at both straight and gay relationships, showing how similar they actually are. It is not a 'great film' nor does it purport to be, but is certainly entertains and showcases some superbly talented and beautiful actors from Brazil! In Portuguese with English subtitles. Recommended for all audiences. Grady Harp, March 06