Already labelled a Brazilian Slumdog Millionaire, this hugely enjoyable film may suffer from such comparisons (it's actually a much better movie) and the fact that a certain Richard Curtis wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by Andy Mulligan.
Sure, having Curtis involved may bring the odd spoonful of sugar to Trash, but that can't take away from a relentlessly-paced drama that, if comparisons are essential, reminds me more of Captain Phillips, in that it's an intense drama that boasts an immense performance from a central character played by a globally unknown actor. Only this time, the actors are three and they're all kids. Remarkable.
A wallet filled with incriminating evidence is thrown into a passing refuse truck and ends up on a Rio tip infested with locals rooting through mountains of rubbish, looking for some basic booty. 14-year-old favela dweller Raphael (Rickson Teves) finds the wallet and soon learns that its contents stretch beyond some money and have implications for a local politician.
Along with his best friend, Gardo (Eduardo Lewis), and a local Artful Dodger called Rato (Gabriel Weinstein), they form a trio chased by corrupt cops and face death in a frantic search for the truth.
They enlist the help of an American priest (Martin Sheen) and volunteer teacher (Rooney Mara), who are obviously in the cast to help its profile. But really, this is about the three amigos.
Deftly directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), Trash bravely ventures down a middle path that might seem too gritty for a very mainstream audience and too syrupy for anyone who rates City of God as one of their favourite films, but what it does is show the dreadful poverty and sheer desperation of life in the Favellas to a potentially huge audience, and give viewers three lads to cheer for. Result!