Viva (2016)


Critic Consensus: Viva flirts with melodrama, but ultimately rises on the strength of strong performances and a thoroughly relatable message.


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Jesus is a hairdresser for a troupe of drag performers in Havana, but dreams of being a performer. When he finally gets his chance to be on stage, a stranger emerges from the crowd and punches him in the face. The stranger is his father Angel, a former boxer, who has been absent from his life for 15 years. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again.

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Critic Reviews for Viva

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (20)

Had the filmmakers slathered as much mascara on their characters' eyelids as they did stoking the plot with sentiment, the cast would have spent the last third of the picture bumping into things.

Jun 10, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A movie that never quite comes to life, despite its title.

May 12, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Slick and raunchy when it might have been grindingly realistic, "Viva" is finally all heart.

May 12, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The story is slightly melodramatic, but director Paddy Breathnach finds ways to make it surprisingly moving at times, in the same way that he makes the Havana slums look paradoxically beautiful.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The lively setting helps, but the main attration here is the familiar story, which has been around forever and yet never gets old.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Viva" appealingly makes up for a coy approach with gutsy, grabby follow-through on the high notes.

Apr 29, 2016 | Full Review…
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