Stephen Daldry’s film set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, details the story of three young boys who make a discovery in a garbage dump and find themselves running from a system so corrupt while all the time trying to right a great wrong. Though this film has top billed stars Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara, it is owned by the three young boys who play the leads, Rickson Tevez as Raphael, Eduardo Luis as Gardo and Gabriel Weinstein as Rat. At times difficult to watch, since many of us will find the idea of children working in sub-human circumstances and in such a filthy environment quite painful, it is a reality for many children today living as orphans in third world countries. Mr. Daldry has had great success in directing children in such films as BILLY ELLIOTT (he also directed the Broadway musical and won a Tony Award as Best Director of a Musical), and EXTREMLY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE and is working from a fine screenplay (though far from perfect, for I found it a bit tedious at times) by Richard Curtis based on a novel of the same name by Andy Mulligan. If you have the fortitude to withstand children being tortured and murdered, and what these three young boys go through to achieve their final solution, it has a positive and happy ending.
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