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 »omantic comedy won the 2001 Sundance jury prize in Latin America cinema.« less
"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 "
Amazing Love Scenarios: Any One Could be the "Real Thing"
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 07/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Brazlian film pulls off what no American film I have ever seen could do: it provides an amusing and entertaining vision of what the lives of the main characters *could* be like if they followed different love interests and possiblities. Any of the three situations could be the real thing since each is a valid lifestyle. What makes the film totally captivating and riveting is the realization of how absolutely unique and vastly different each love possibilty really is. Each scenario is played to perfection by Murilo Benicio and Carolina Ferraz. The film was shown at eight different film festivals throughout the world and won the jury award selection at the Sundance Film Festival. It deserves a wider viewing audience. It will appeal to people who are open-minded about the many different facets of love.
This film is astonishing and outstanding because of the amazing acting abilities of Murilo Benicio who plays "Carlos" and Carolina Ferraz who plays "Julia". At first, this viewer was uncertain that in scenario one: Carlos the successful lawyer married to Maria was the same person/actor as the "second love possibility" Carlos who had divorced his wife, Julia and for three years was the gay partner of Pedro. In scenario three, the very same Carlos was a hedonistic spoiled young man who indulged his physical appetite for women, women of all kinds, while he lived with his mother Sonia. Presumably, he was seeking the right woman to marry, while he lived out his self-indulgent love fantasies.
The married Carlos meets Julia the artist after not seeing her for 15 years. He visits an art gallery opening where her work is exhibited. He begins reminscing about how she stood him up at the Rio theater where they were supposed to have a date. She explains her life as an artist. He introduces Julia to his wife, as a "friend from the past". Carlos the lawyer begins fantasizing about what he missed out by not having known Julia all these years. He has a solid but dull marriage which is missing one thing: passion. He is looking to rekindle the flame with Julia. When she calls him, he arranges a love tryst with her. Carlos misleads Julia to think that he left his wife for her and he misleads his wife Maria by telling her, he went on a two week business trip. Carlos is straddling the fence between the two women. Julia discovers he did not break up with his wife. Carlos ends up returning to Maria and his previous boring and predictable married life.
The second love possiblity is the most daring ... It shows Carlos and Pedro as a gay couple and Julia as a divorced mom who is raising Lucas, her seven year old son. Carlos has visiting rights and often spends time with Lucas, who knows full well his dad is in a gay relationship. In this life situation, Julia is more plain-looking and is very angry at Carlos for having divorced her for this newly discovered lifestyle. At one point when Lucas goes to visit his dad, he says to his mom something to the effect, I know I am not supposed to be alone with Pedro ...
In the third scenario, we meet Carlos as he is being awakened by his mom, while there is a lump moving around, next to him in bed. It turns out the lump is a young lady with body piercings, short black punk hair style, and a tattoo on her behind (noticed by his mother Sonia). Carlos discusses with a friend his personal desire to settle down with one woman and his male friend advises wisely, "you have to work at love for it to last". Carlos finds an ad in a magazine which helps people find their love interest "scientifically" via a computer program by matching people on their interests. When he fills out the questionairre, his responses are hilarious as he has conflicting answers: He wants a woman who is independent yet who also caters to his personal needs. Afterwards, he is given a cell/mobile phone tracking device which beeps when he gets close to the partner selected by the computer. Amazingly enough, while taking a walk, the beeper goes off and he bumps into Julia whose beeper is also alarming. She is a college friend from 15 years ago, who stood him up on a date at the Rio Theater. This Julia also is a successful artist, having travelled the world, she did relief work in Africa and Cuba. She exhibited her artwork in Milan and New York. They engage in a torrid love affair and Carlos truly believes she is "the one" until he introduces her to his mother at a disastrous dinner meeting. Julia took pills to calm herself down before the dinner and also she drank too much which provided the fuel for Sonia to reject her as an unsuitable mate for her son. In a most creative manner, scenario three brings Carlos and Julia together as they discover they truly *do* love each other. The film helps them recapture their hidden simmering love which is nearly destroyed by a series of unfortunate events ... yet ... after 15 years of waiting .. both Carlos and Julia find each other again. Erika Borsos (pepper flower) "