Country: Brazil, UK
Language: English, Portuguese
Running Time: 114min
Production Year: 2014
While picking through a Rio de Janeiro trash dump looking for the small treasures that will earn him a dollar or two to get through the day, young orphan Raphael discovers a once-in-a-lifetime bonanza: a wallet stuffed not just with cash, but some highly cryptic notes and symbols.
When a major unit of the police force descends upon his favela in search of the wallet, Raphael knows he’s chanced upon something big, and with the help of his buddies Gardo and Rato, launches an adventure to unearth the secret that the powerful elite wishes to crush. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) excels at creating fully-rounded child heroes with pride and determination to follow their hearts.
Working with screenwriter Richard Curtis (Love Actually), Daldry handles the transition to working in Portuguese effortlessly, deftly inspiring our identification with his young leads, while shining a spotlight on the sobering challenges facing one of the world’s most closely-watched cities. The supporting cast includes American stars Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara as missionary church workers trying to protect the boys from a brutally dead-end existence, and Brazilian stars Wagner Moura and Selton Mello. – Jaie Laplante
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Director: Stephen Daldry, Christian Duurvoort
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
Screenwriter: Richard Curtis, based on the novel by Andy Mulligan
Music: Antonio Pinto
Cinematographer: Adriano Goldman
Editor: Elliot Graham