As a poor neighborhood is gentrified, the people who called it home for years struggle to make new lives in this film from director Gabriel Mascaro which combines elements of drama and documentary. Recife is a small city along the Brazilian coastline; while the town used to be filled with working-class and low-income households, a new highway that runs parallel with the seaside has eliminated a number of Recife's neighborhood and displaced the townspeople. Pirambu used to be a fisherman, but the highway has cost him his job as well as his house, and he's too old to easily pick up a new trade. Fabio used to run the local tavern; now that it's gone, he's bought a video camera and records what's happening with his neighbors, recording everything from visits by dignitaries to family gatherings. Debora is a manicurist who has pinned her hopes for the future on joining the cast of the Brazilian edition of Big Brother. And five-year-old Cauan is fascinated with Spiderman and is celebrating his birthday as Fabio videotapes the party. Avenida Brasilia Formosa was an official selection at the 2010 Rotterdam International Film Festival.
~Mark Deming, All Movie Guide