Attractively shot in black and white, this predictable 1995 narrative begins on the day in 1990 when all bank accounts in Brazil were frozen by presidential order, and ends with an oppressively obvious irony. Fernanda Torres (Four Days in September) and Fernando Alves Pinto play strangers whose troubled lives eventually intersect in Portugal because each is peripherally involved with the same vicious, desperate criminal (Luis Melo). The power of a minimalistic love scene is undermined by a later scene in which the fetishized nudity is hopelessly contrived, but parts of the story are set in contrasty, lonely landscapes—photogenic locations that make even the flat, telegraphed events somewhat intriguing. Directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas wrote the screenplay with Marcos Bernstein.