“Diamantino” is nothing less (and so much more) than the movie the world needs right now. A hit from the moment it premiered at Cannes last year, this winningly demented 21st century fairy tale centers on a beautiful, child-like soccer phenom named Diamantino (Carloto Cotta, sculpted here to be a dead ringer for Cristiano Ronaldo), who reacts to a devastating World Cup loss by adopting a Mozambican refugee. The refugee claims to be a teen boy, but is actually an adult lesbian on an undercover mission from the Portuguese government to investigate a money-laundering operation run by the athlete’s evil twin sisters. Also, there’s a mad scientist who’s trying to clone Diamantino in order to create an invincible super team capable of stoking national pride and “Making Portugal Great Again.” Also, there are giant puppies. A lot of them. A litter of Pekingese the size of double-decker buses. And that’s just the basic set-up.
Co-directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, “Diamantino” unfolds like a blissful cross between Guy Maddin’s lo-fi surrealism and Jeff Koons’ candied indecency; it’s a frothy and infectiously sweet film that bubbles with the madness of the modern world, and dares to suggest a way forward that’s as simple as the moral at the end of a children’s story (hint: it has something to do with choosing love over apathy or exploitation). Part B-movie spoof, part handcrafted satire, and always driven by a genuine vision for a better tomorrow, “Diamantino” is like looking at today’s Europe through a funhouse mirror, and somehow seeing it more clearly as a result.
“Diamantino” is set to be released by Kino Lorber on May 24, when it will be the perfect counter-programming to the summer’s constant stream of studio blockbusters (visit Kino Lorber’s website for a list of where it will be playing). Check out the exclusive trailer below, read IndieWire’s full review here, and prepare yourself for one of the most fun movies of the year — the kind of film that people will eventually kick themselves for not seeing in theaters when they had the chance. Don’t let that happen to you.
And here’s another gander at the film’s poster, which does a great job of capturing the infectious delirium of the “Diamantino” experience.