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Rio Sex Comedy

Rio Sex Comedy

Rio Sex Comedy

Jonathan Nossiter

  • Country: France, Brazil
  • Year: 2010
  • Producer: Jonathan Nossiter, Matias Mariani
  • Executive Producer: Philippe Carcassonne, Santiago Amigorena, François Sauvagnargues, Gilles Baudoin, Flavio Ramos Tambellini
  • Screenplay: Jonathan Nossiter
  • Runtime: 125
  • Programmes:

Charting the misadventures of expatriates in Rio and their bungled search for both personal pleasure and social justice, the film is a deliriously insolent romp that explores the bizarre contradictions that are a fact of daily life in this pulsing metropolis. A plastic surgeon arrives in Rio, the new US ambassador to Brazil slips his guards and disappears into Rio's infamous favelas, and a French couple arrive to make a film.

ComedyLatin AmericaPovertyPolitics

screening times

    • Thursday September 16
    • 9:00:00 PM
    • Friday September 17
    • 7:45:00 PM
    • Sunday September 19
    • 9:00:00 AM
    • VARSITY 8

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Jonathan Nossiter’s delirious comedic romp through the favelas and high-end plastic surgery clinics of Rio de Janeiro (by way of the bedrooms and apartments of a curiously eclectic group of locals and foreigners) explores personal pleasures, relationships, philanthropy and the search for social justice with a gentle screwball sensibility. Nossiter has a natural affinity for people who drop out into bohemia, and certainly Rio Sex Comedy, set against the famous Copacabana beaches and the infamous Vidigal favela, continues in this mode.

The film circles around a plastic surgeon visiting from England (Charlotte Rampling), the U.S. ambassador to Brazil (Bill Pullman), who decides to go rogue, and a recently arrived intellectual French couple (Irène Jacob and Jean-Marc Roulot) trying to make an anthropological film. Despite the Altmanesque number of characters, Nossiter keeps the stories separate. The characters each reflect a very specific community, allowing Nossiter to probe the complex, kaleidoscopic nature of this very contradictory city – but they all end up in the favela anyway. Rampling’s doctor tours the various clinics and hospitals offering the latest in plastic surgery and tries to discourage people looking to nick and tuck their way to happiness. In the meantime, the new US ambassador, a nice guy who initially looks hopelessly out of his depth, slips away from his handlers and dives into Rio’s most notorious favela. He ends up in the hands of a wild tour guide and a stunning woman who open his eyes to Brazil’s strange reality. Then there is Irène and her intellectual husband, trying to make a movie while balancing a family, home and a feckless brother-in-law.

Inhibitions drop away, clothes are shed, and surprising relationships are formed, all against the backdrop of this extraordinary urban metropolis situated in one of the most magnificent settings in the world. As the plot heats up, the impossible becomes possible, and the outlandish begins to look strangely normal. But, then again, that’s Rio!

Piers Handling

director bio

Jonathan Nossiter was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in France, England, Italy, Greece and India. He studied painting at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris and the San Francisco Art Institute, ancient Greek at Dartmouth College and is a trained sommelier. Rio Sex Comedy (10) is his fourth film to play at the Festival, following Mondovino (04), Resident Alien (90) and Signs and Wonders (00). His other films include Searching for Arthur (97), Sunday (97), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival, and Losing the Thread (02).

full credits

Principal Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Bill Pullman, Irène Jacob, Fisher Stevens, Daniela Dams, Jérôme Kircher, Jean-Marc Roulot
Jonathan Nossiter, Matias Mariani
Executive Producer:
Philippe Carcassonne, Santiago Amigorena, François Sauvagnargues, Gilles Baudoin, Flavio Ramos Tambellini
Lubomir Bakchev
Sophie Brunet, Jonathan Nossiter
Valeria Ferro, Stéphane Thiébaut, Toni Di Rocco
Production Designer:
Zé Luca
Production Company:
Cinéma Dépendant, Primo Filmes
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