To Die Like A Man (2011)



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Tonia is a large-than-life drag icon of Lisbon's night life in the late 1980s. At the peak of her career, she meets and falls in love with Rosario, a young soldier who's gone AWOL. Under pressure from Rosario, Tonia begins a series of operations to become a woman but the final step proves much harder than she could have guessed. Torn between her love for Rosario and her deeply-rooted religious convictions, Tonia looks for distraction in a trip to the countryside with Rosario. Lost along the way, the couple find themselves in an enchanted forest where everything they think they know about life and love is proven wrong. Part melodrama, part phantasmagorical fairy tale, TO DIE LIKE A MAN is visual extravaganza. Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival. Portugal's Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. -- (C) Strand
Art House & International , Drama
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Strand Releasing


Alexander David
as Rosário
Fernando Gomes
as Teixeira
Chandra Malatitch
as Zé Maria
André Murraças
as Dr. Felgueiras
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Critic Reviews for To Die Like A Man

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

The praise for this static, overlong, stagebound work is a mystery to me.

Full Review… | April 7, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

[Refuses] to soften the harsher personal truths faced by aging professional salesmen of erotic fantasy.

April 7, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

The film is filled with striking, sometimes painful images...

Full Review… | April 7, 2011
AV Club
Top Critic

A mysterious, fabulously sad fable about the final months of a fado-singing, pooch-pampering drag diva.

Full Review… | April 6, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

It fulfills the promise of its title with hard-hitting compassion and a crystal-clear sense of grace.

Full Review… | April 5, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

The camera also lingers in slow and stylized shots, generating strange images (a chicken bone in a fish-filled aquarium) that are elusive in meaning yet undeniable in visual impact.

Full Review… | September 11, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for To Die Like A Man


TO DIE LIKE A MAN is a truly stunning and remarkable film. Sad, flamboyant, tortuous, and celebratory. This amazing film directed by Joao Pedro Rodrigues surprises at every turn with its raw capature of humanity. The plight of man and our complexity is in every frame of this film. Stunned is my only reaction. And there is one staggering moment when the characters all sit still in a forest, look up a the sky, the frame turns red, and Baby Dee sings CALVARY for 4 minutes on the soundtrack. One of the greatest uses of a song since Eastwood used the FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HIS FACE in PLAY MISTY FOR ME. But this is even better because the moment is part of a true whole that explores the human condition in all its coplexity while remaining totally cinematic.

Michael Lupetin
Michael Lupetin

A pre-op transsexual drag queen lives with a suicidal junkie. CORRECTION TO MY EARLIER REVIEW: This movie should get an "incomplete" rating from me, since I watched a flawed version via Netflix streaming. The dtreaming version is missing the audio track; I assumed that this was an experimental gimmick by the director, but in fact it was just a technical error.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Sublime tale of a drag queen whose life is consumed with caring for her junkie boyfriend, who wants her to become a woman. Rodrigues directs with long, fluid takes & vibrant color filters that create a singular and oddly enrapturing atmosphere.At its heart it's a celebration of humanity, a probing exploration of self-identity and image, of personal desires vs. expectations, striking a note that is so very, very true.

Matthew Lucas
Matthew Lucas

Super Reviewer

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