Bossa Nova (SE)/B+,A-
Columbia/2000/95/ANA 2.35

      Bossa Nova is a delightful romantic comedy. It's a throwback to movies of another era, a more graceful time when movie style equated with intelligence. Director Bruno Barreto directs with sheer gossamer touch, letting the intertwining stories evolve with the grace of a lace curtain blowing in the gentle Rio breeze.
      Amy Irving plays Mary Ann Simpson, a widow teaching English in contemporary Rio. When she meets Pedro Paulo, an attorney going through a tough time in his marriage, sparks flare, love is in the air, and the Bossa Nova music inspires thoughts of romance. The material evolves at a rapidly casual pace, woven with the same care as a beautiful fabric. Revolving around the central romance is an Internet romance, a tailor who listens to his fabrics speak, a national soccer hero, a Chinese lover, an effervescent law intern and a soulful lover of traditional music.

You can use my telephone anytime. ©Columbia

     Amy Irving is quite wonderful as Mary Ann. She makes the most of her beauty and parlays a chipper personality into a well developed character. Antonio Fagundes is terrific as the attorney searching for the key to his heart. Irving shares on the audio commentary that Fagundes is the biggest star in Brazil.  It's no surprise. This guy has screen charisma. Such warmth from his eyes, great style in his movement. The secondary characters are all well developed in simple strokes and Barreto's casting is outstanding.
    Bossa Nova is a very polished production. Barreto shoots Rio from the most romantic perspectives possible. Gorgeous lighting, pink sunsets and a graceful camera add to the loving construction. The music is a consistently enjoyable companion to the images.
    Bossa Nova transfers to DVD with comfortable sophistication. Colors are replicated accurately, maintaining the subtle gradations of the film. Color saturation is intense without distortion. Take a gander at the scrumptious blue walls in Mary Ann's apartment.  No color bleeding in evidence at all. All the loving details are presented clearly. Even the fabrics at the tailor shop have their own life. I detected very slight edge enhancement in a few high peak transitions, otherwise Bossa Nova comes close to perfection. The English/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5:1 Surround makes for comfortable listening. The music floats through the home theater with effortless charm. Dialogue is clear and Yellow English subtitles overlap slightly into the black letterbox border.
    Columbia delivers Bossa Nova as a special edition. There's an audio commentary with star Amy Irving and director/husband Bruno Barreto. There's very nice byplay between Irving and Barreto and you learn a lot about the actors and much about the inspirations for the film.  Additional extras include a featurette, a deleted scene with commentary, theatrical trailers and an isolated music score.



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