City Of God (Cidade De Deus)
The streets of the world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s City of God, are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with an artistic eye. In the face of impossible odds, his brave ambition to become a professional photographer becomes a window into his world and ultimately his way out.
The movie is based on actual events and the end credits show the real life Ned giving an interview which is a scene in the movie. The movie starts off with a flashback and has various back stories of the lead characters which are are all integrated very well into the main story. The only drawback in the movie is that Rocket’s interest in photography and him turning into a photographer for the press seemed a bit contrived.
The movie has shocking scenes of kids being shot and kids killing others. Here are some of the excellent scenes.
The scene where Lil Dice shoots everyone while enjoying the killings.
The scene where Shaggy gets killed while trying to get out of City of God.
Here is the best scene of the movie – the scene where Li’l Zé caches hold of the “The Runts” and shoots at the little kid on the foot.
Alexandre Rodrigues was good but his role is more that of a narrator than the actual lead. Alice Braga looked very pretty and don’t know why her character was completely removed after Benny’s death. Leandro Firmino was brilliant as the evil Li’l Zé and he is the actual star of the movie. Douglas Silva was excellent as Li’l Dice who grows onto become Li’l Zé. Phellipe Haagensen was good as his good friend Benny. Jonathan Haagensen was good as Shaggy. Matheus Nachtergaele was good as Carrot and Seu Jorge was good as Knockout Ned.
The movie was nominated for 4 Oscars in 2004 including Best Cinematography, Best Directing, Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2003 it was Brazil’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film but it was ridiculously not even nominated. Had watched Nowhere in Africa, the winner for Best Foreign Language Film that year and I had felt that it did not even deserve to be nominated let alone winning an Oscar. Here is my comment on the movie from June of last year.
“The movie was scenic – shot in Africa but it did not really have much of a story and it just went on and on. It is based on a true story but there should have been something more in the movie apart from the reason why they moved there. There were some camera zoom shots which seemed amateurish. Don’t know how this movie even got nominated let alone winning an Oscar.” Link
Can’t believe that no one mentioned this before but Gangs of Wasseypur is just a wannabe City of God with all the violence and even the way the characters are named.
The Cinematography is excellent and the movie has a documentary feel to it. The movie feels so authentic and so real. The direction is brilliant. The movie may feel a bit slow paced at times with the back stories and it may seem complex with so many characters but it all comes together so well in the end. The movie is absolutely brilliant, a masterpiece and a classic. This is a movie not to be missed. Highly Recommended.Tags: Alexandre Rodrigues Alice Braga City Of God Douglas Silva Exclusive Gangs of Wasseypur Leandro Firmino Member Reviews Movies You Watched This Month Phellipe Haagensen Reviews