Paulista suffers because there are too many other independent films like it. This is the kind of story where seemingly random people are seen through a short period of time. This time is three people who all live in an apartment building in São Paulo. There is Marina who wants to move to the big city and become an actress. Suzana is a lawyer who is having a love affair. Jay is an author who befriends a prostitute.
With an anthology of stories each story needs to be able to be compelling on its own. It should be the ebb and flow of wanting to stay with one person while also wanting to continue the story across town. In Paulista, there was never this urgency to continue a storyline or even much curiosity of what is going to happen next. Each story ends exactly how they have played out before in other stories.
The most disappointing was Jay’s story because stories about writers usually have a nuanced charm to them when done well. Writers tend to have an articulation about their world, which can lead to new insights for the audience, but Jay wasn’t a very interesting author and thus not a very interesting story.
Sílvia Lourenço gives the strongest performance as Marina because she has a very natural on-screen charisma. She’s very watchable even as her story leads into weaker material. Marina ends up going to a nightclub and becomes entranced by one of the female singers. They end up having an intimate relationship.
None of the supporting characters seem to be entirely developed and that is too bad considering the entire movie is these three characters interacting with a few other people in their lives.
The film has a very cool and appealing look that makes scenes feel more enjoyable. Even though the script is lacking, the tone of the film is light enough where the film never feels like a burden. Just a series of missed opportunities.
Paulista will play on Sunday July 18th at 6:45Pm and on Tuesday July 20th at 3:15PM. Tickets can be purchased here.