Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt rustle up one of the year’s most singular debuts with this winningly bizarre, genre-melding political satire.
The pro-European Union lobby just got the silliest, sexiest cinematic endorsement it could hope for in Diamantino, and that’s merely one of the surprises nested in [this] deranged satire […]. Part loopily queer sci-fi thriller, part faux-naive political rallying cry, glued together with candyfloss clouds of romantic reverie, it’s a film best seen with as little forewarning as possible: To go in blind is to be carried along by its irrational tumble of events as blissfully and buoyantly as its empty-headed soccer-star protagonist.
Mixing grainy 16mm passages with lurid oil slicks of advertising-style varnish, and merging deliberately shoddy practical effects with puffy CGI dreamscapes, the film’s aesthetic is made to seem as wild and haphazard as its storytelling, though Abrantes and Schmidt […] have plainly conceived and designed even its apparent visual glitches with the utmost love and care.
Cinematographer Charles Ackley Anderson rolls fluidly with the madness, while the film’s witty costume and production design […] are perfectly tailored to evoke Diamantino’s simultaneously cloistered and cliched ideas of celebrity status, right down to his hideously photo-personalized bed linen.
Guy Lodge, Variety