Madame Satã

Critics Consensus

Madame Satã offers an occasionally absorbing look at a pivotal figure in Brazilian culture, even if its subject deserves a more consistent biopic.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,424
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Movie Info

A story inspired by the life of one of the most remarkable figures in Brazilian popular culture, João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976). In turn, bandit, transvestite, street fighter, brothel cook, convict and father to seven adopted children, dos Santos--better known as "Madame Satã"--was also a notorious gay performer who pushed social boundaries in a volatile time. The story begins in 1932, in Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa district, when João Francisco is about to achieve his dream: becoming a stage star. In the sordid yet lively world of Lapa--populated by pimps, prostitutes and other denizens of Rio's underworld--João battles the streets and presides over a surrogate family that includes the charming prostitute Laurita, and her baby daughter whom everyone dotes on; the flamboyant hustler Taboo; João's teenage lover, Renatinho; and Amador, the owner of the Blue Danube club which is their second home. It is at the Blue Danube that street tough João begins to sing, and the mythic drag artiste Madam Satã is born.

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Critic Reviews for Madame Satã

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (17)

Audience Reviews for Madame Satã

  • Mar 17, 2016
    Lázaro Ramos delivers a ferocious performance in this absorbing character study that dives into the world of an outcast to explore matters like poverty, race, gender and sex, even though it feels a bit incomplete and superficial as it doesn't go deep enough into its character as it should.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2012
    Captivated? Not really. Didn't sink in with me too well.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2009
    Even if you do not like the characters, this is a REAL movie with REAL people and it is an Oscar worthy film. I submitted this one to Flixster after watching late one night. I was amazed at the marvelous acting. You must see this one!
    April N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2008
    The visuals are stunning, but the film fails for something that is unfortunately becoming a tradition in Brazilian cinema: the lack of a consistent script. Too much responsibility is left on the actors' shoulders, as if they were the ones who were supposed to make the film work, and although the cast fights this battle with all they've got, I honestly don't know if that's fair. The worst is that I could simply copy and paste the comment above into Mr. Ainouz' following film, "Love For Sale: Suely in the Sky".
    Rhady N Super Reviewer

Madame Satã Quotes

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