Watch and learn with Brazilian Movies

So you are learning Portuguese, you’re going crazy studying grammar, conjugating verbs in all tenses, you’re following all kinds of Facebook pages and blogs which mention Portuguese, but you still can’t understand when someone starts to talk to you.

Are you crazy? Do you have problems to learn? 😛 I don’t think so! But the fact is that you need to be exposed as much as you can to the real way of speaking, real situations, real expressions. How about to learn more while you’re having fun? Watching movies (especially with subtitles) is a good strategy to help you to improve your Portuguese. Today we have for you a list of great Brazilian films to help you to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture, discovering new ways of speaking, learning new expressions and discovering new Brazilian places.

I hope you ENJOY IT!

Central do Brasil (Central Station)

Central Station (Portuguese: Central do Brasil) is a 1998 Brazilian-French drama film set in Brazil. It tells the story of a young boy’s friendship with a jaded middle-aged woman. The film was adapted by Marcos Bernstein and João Emanuel Carneiro from a story by Walter Salles and it was directed by the latter. It features Fernanda Montenegro and Vinícius de Oliveira in the major roles. The film’s title in Portuguese, Central do Brasil, is the name of Rio de Janeiro’s main railway station. The film premiered at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.

Meu nome nao é Johnny (My name ain’t Johnny)

The film narrates the true story of João Guilherme Estrella, a middle-class man from the State of Rio de Janeiro that would become the head of the drug traffic in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Estrella was a young boy from an upper-middle-class family of the city of Niterói. Loved by his parents and worshipped by his friends, he lived an intensive life of partying. In the early 1990s, he adventured himself through the world of drugs. Investigated and later imprisoned by the police, his life is exposed by sensationalistic newspapers and magazines. Instead of parties, Estrella has to face the bench of the culprits to tell the story of his adolescenthood.

The true story of João Guilherme Estrella (“Johnny”), a young middle-class bon vivant who became a big-time cocaine dealer in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1990s.

O Cheiro do Ralo

Lourenço is a lonely character who buys used goods from people going through hard times. His profession has made him insensitive to his client’s conditions or personal stories. Lourenço’s lack of emotions makes him deal with the world as a collection of objects to be bought. His main pleasure has become that of conducting perverse power games with his clients. The planned life of Lourenço is interrupted when he falls in love with a waitress’s butt. As with any other object, his main desire is to own it. The movie conducts us through Lourenço’s mind using him as narrator while his lust for power grows. The name of the movie (“The Smell from the Drain”) comes from an insistent bad odour that comes from the restroom of Lourenço’s office. It represents the self-awareness of Lourenço’s condition, which he unsuccessfully keeps trying to hide

Outro Lado da Rua (The Other Side of the Street)

Fernanda Montenegro plays a retired woman who keeps track of everybody in her neighborhood, until she thinks she sees an ex-cop (Raul Cortez) commit murder and so she becomes a police informant.



A Dona da História (The Owner of the Story)

A 50 year-old woman who analyses her past. She pictures herself when she was 20 years old and she re-creates the story of her life through a game of innumerous possibilities… What if she wouldn’t have gone to that ball? What if… instead of meeting the man of her life, with whom she married and had kids, she would have called a girlfriend and they went to the theater? What would be her destiny? (From

Vinicius (Vinicius)
Documentary on Brazilian poet, playwright, critic, diplomat, composer, singer and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes (1913-1980), internationally famous lyricist of Bossa Nova hits like “Garota de Ipanema” and “Insensatez” and writer of the play which originated the film “Black Orpheus” (1959). Archive images combine with up to date interviews with members of his family, friends, partners (Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Carlos Lyra) and also musical numbers with famous Brazilian singers.

Cazuza – O tempo nao pára – Cazuza – Time Doesn’t Stop

Cazuza – O Tempo Não Pára (Cazuza – Time Doesn’t Stop) is a 2004 Brazilian movie about the life of singer Cazuza. The film is directed by Walter Carvalho and Sandra Werneck. It stars Daniel de Oliveira as Cazuza. The film is based on the book by Cazuza’s mother, Lucia Araujo. Cazuza – O Tempo Não Pára won a best actor award from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards.

Focusing on Cazuza’s personal life, the film chronicles his early career, his subsequent success, his drug use and his promiscuous lifestyle. It starts out in the early 1980s in Rio de Janeiro, showing his usual day-to-day life until he joins the band which would become Barão Vermelho. It then shows the band’s rise to fame and its frequent “mutinies” which led him to pursue a solo career. Later, it depicts his struggle against the AIDS virus and his final days.

The movie was one of the most successful of the year in Brazil.


Se eu fosse você (If I Were You)

The publicist Claudio and the housewife and choral teacher Helena have been married for many years, but they do not understand and respect the feelings and view point of the partner. Claudio sees Helena as a shopper and “little teacher of a choral” and Helena sees Claudio as an insensitive and rough man. On the night before the fiftieth anniversary of Claudio, Mars, Earth and Jupiter are aligned and Claudio and Helena argue with each other at home and they speak at the same time “If I were you”. On the next morning, when they wake-up, they have switched bodies and they have to face the difficulties of the other in the agency, in the school and with their friends and acquaintances.

( Reviews from: and Wikipedia)



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