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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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The life and career of the renowned Brazilian composer Hector Villa-Lobos is portrayed in this biographical drama, which begins with the legendary musician looking back at his own life in his declining years, then leaps back and forth in time to show the highlights of his story. Villa-Lobos (Marcos Palmeira) first developed a passionate interest in music as a child, and took up the cello at the urging of his father (Othon Bastos). As a young man, Villa-Lobos (now played by Antonio Fagundes) becomes acquainted with a saxophone player named Donizetti (Jose Walker), who invites the young prodigy to join him on a journey through the Brazilian rain forests. Villa-Lobos is seized by indigenous tribespeople, and as he stays with them in the wilds he becomes fascinated with the musical structures of bird songs. In time, Hector begins writing his own music, which leans heavily on "natural" influences, but his young wife Luc'ilia (Ana Beatriz Nogueira) feels his work is too challenging, both for performers and listeners. Villa-Lobos eventually finds an appreciative ear for his work in virtuoso pianist Arthur Rubinstein (Emilio de Mello), who helps to support the composer as he travels to Paris to write and perform. In time, Villa-Lobos leaves Luc'ilia, though she actively contests their divorce, and the personal life of the aging composer (now played by Andre Ricardo) provides him with a number of trials and challenges as his work finally wins him an enthusiastic audience in his native land. Villa-Lobos: Uma Vida De Paixao received its North American premiere at the 2000 American Film Institute Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi