A fresh instalment in the “Trilogy of the New Classics” hits screens in Portugal
by Vitor Pinto
- Leonel Vieira’s O Leão da Estrela opens in 59 theatres this week
After the unexpected success of The Courtyard of the Ballads [+see also:
film profile] – which opened in late July, to quickly become the biggest hit in Portuguese cinema, with over 600,000 tickets sold – production outfit Stopline and distributor NOS Audiovisuais are releasing O Leão da Estrela [+see also:
film profile] this week, the second film in the so-called Trilogy of the New Classics, across 59 screens in the country. Director Leonel Vieira is back behind the camera, while the script was loosely adapted from the original 1947 O Leão da Estrela by writer Tiago R Santos (Os Gatos Não Têm Vertigens [+see also:
Part of the cast from The Courtyard of the Ballads is back for O Leão da Estrela, including Miguel Guilherme, Dânia Neto, Sara Matos and Manuel Marques, while others are established actors who are newcomers to the New Classics project, such as Alexandra Lencastre, Manuela Couto and José Raposo.
Conceived as a farce, O Leão da Estrela follows a major football fanatic (Guilherme) who drags his family to a final in the region of Alentejo. The football teams of Sporting and FCP from the original version have been replaced by third-division teams. During the trip, the family will be forced to pretend to be rich and posh, which is the starting point for a comedy of errors.
Discussing the potential box-office results of the movie, Vieira sets a benchmark: a minimum of 200,000 admissions. “It is not compulsory for all films to reach 600,000 admissions. My life would be amazing if they did, but that is not possible. I strongly believe the film will exceed 200,000 viewers, and then we will see how far it will get,” explains Vieira.
Meanwhile, the third entry in the New Classics is still to be shot. A Canção de Lisboa, the cast of which will be a mixture of Portuguese and Brazilian actors, is expected to premiere in 2016.