Wacky 'Ronaldo' comedy a surprise hit at Cannes

A scene from "Diamantino".

CANNES - A surreal comedy that features a superstar footballer bearing a striking resemblance to Cristiano Ronaldo has become the surprise sensation of the Cannes film festival.

"Diamantino" follows a preening metrosexual goal machine with a fondness for displaying his waxed torso at every possible occasion.

But the eponymous hero's life falls apart when he misses a penalty in the World Cup final for Portugal on the same night his father dies.

Every time he bears down on goal afterwards he is haunted by images of gigantic pink Pekingese lapdogs blocking his way.

Having lost his killer touch, his career ends in disgrace.

Desperate to rebuild his life, the star "sets out on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius," said the film's co-director Gabriel Abrantes.

Critics have cheered the debut feature - which also has subplots about the Panama Papers - as a hilarious Portuguese cross between John Waters, Pedro Almodovar and Monty Python films.

The Hollywood Reporter raved that "what makes 'Diamantino' such a gem is that it is not only a completely wacky story filled with the most improbable B-movie tropes... and a constant barrage of unexpected twists and turns", but that it also had important things to say. - AFP