Anthony Quinn died in June 2001 at the nice old age of 86.  He was a screen legend, and Oriundi was his swan song.  This isn't the great, magnificent, big movie to see him off, but a family drama.  The fact is that Quinn is the only real reason to see Oriundi, and apparently the filmmakers know this because they are touting it as "Anthony Quinn's Last Film" in all of the advertising.  A little tasteless, but hey, this is Hollywood.  Or Brazil.  Quinn (The Mayor, Seven Servants) is Giuseppe Padovani, the patriarch of the Padovani family.  He moved here from Italy years ago, and now he is in the twilight of his life.  He started a now successful pasta factory with is beloved wife Caterina, who died in a plane crash shortly after their son was born.  Now, he can no longer walk, and his family is undergoing a series of mini-crises.

His grandson Renato (Paulo Betti, The Call of the Oboe, Ed Mort) is currently running the factory, and wants to sell it.  Many object, simply because it has been in the family so long.  Renato's son Stephano (Thiago Real, Club, O, Duelo) has some ideas to modernize the factory, but Renato just ignores him.  Renato is also preparing for a divorce, and his daughter Patty (Gabriela Duarte) wants to be an actress despite the fact that she's in law school.  What most people find distasteful about Renato is that he is a fantastic cook, but rarely does so anymore.  And, Renato wants to fly, which brings back bad memories for the entire family.

At Giuseppe's birthday party, Renato introduces him to Sofia D'Angelo (Leticia Spiller, O, Pulso, A Paixao de Jacobina), a relative of Caterina's.  She is doing research into her family, and that brought her to Brazil.  Giuseppe is taken aback, because she looks exactly like Caterina.  As time passes, her friendly demeanor ingratiates her to the entire family, and she moves in with them.  It really unnerves Giuseppe, because so many of the things she does remind him of Sofia.  Then, one really random thing happens, and it's extremely clear who she really is.  And that essentially sets the tone for director Ricardo Bravo and screenwriter Marcos Bernstein (Central Station, Foreign Land).  They focus on the melodramatic aspects of the family, and how Sofia's presence is affecting everything.

Everyone seems to be stuck in some sort of a rut, and Sofia has the magic cure to solve everybody's problems.  She says the right thing, or tells whomever to do something that turns out to be exactly what they need.  This happens between lots of random shouting between family members and lots of shots of Quinn reminiscing.  It's an easy role for him to play because much of the acting is internalized.  This is the type of family that exists primarily in movies, where they ignore each other when convenient and talk to each other when convenient (convenient meaning to follow the plot).  It is nice to see Quinn on screen, and the Sofia character does provide a late-life reawakening for Giuseppe.  However the overall story seems a little too hokey for its own good.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good..
1 hour, 37 minutes, Portugese with English subtitles, Rated PG for brief, mild language.

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