The Clown (Portuguese: O Palhaço) is a 2011 Brazilian comedy-drama film. It is the second feature film directed by Selton Mello, who also stars as the protagonist.
The film follows the story of the father and son Benjamin and Valdemar, who work as clowns Pangaré and Puro Sangue, running the country roads together with the Circus Hope troupe. The clown Benjamin, however, is in crisis. He thinks that is not funny anymore.
The film was selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of Benjamin and Valdemar, father and son known as the clowns Pangaré and Puro Sangue. They make their living traveling the country with Circus Hope, without a fixed address, no neighbors, and no ID.
The drama begins when Pangaré, tired of life on the road, feels that is no longer a funny clown, awakening a lifelong dream of having a place to live and a social security number, proof of residence, and an identity card.
The film was shot in March and April 2010; in the city of Paulinia, São Paulo, and some scenes in the district of Conceição do Ibitipoca, Lima Duarte, Minas Gerais.
Director and star of O Palhaço, Selton Mello said in an interview that the film is "a mixture of Oscarito, Didi Mocó and Bye Bye Brazil." He said the production helped him to get rid of depression. Mello showed the script to actors Wagner Moura and Rodrigo Santoro, offering them the lead role, but the schedule prevented both from accepting the invitation.
The film premiered on October 28, 2011 in 200 theaters throughout Brazil. In the first three days of release the film grossed R$ 2 million, reaching the milestone of 1 million viewers in the third week of screening.
São Paulo Association of Art Critics AwardsWon: Best Director - Selton Mello
4th Festival Paulínia de CinemaWon: Best Director - Selton Mello
Won: Best Script - Selton Mello and Marcelo Vindicatto
Won: Best Supporting Actor - Moacyr Franco
Won: Best Costume Design - Kika Lopes