A well-bred, lovely, spiritual, sad young woman marries an attentive physician who loves her. She feels affection but no love. Soon after, without design, she falls in love with Pedro ... See full summary »

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(scenario and dialogue), (inspired by the book "La Princesse de Clèves") (as Mme. de Lafayette) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pedro Abrunhosa ...
Pedro Abrunhosa
Antoine Chappey ...
Leonor Silveira ...
La religieuse
...
Mme de Chartres
Maria João Pires ...
Maria João Pires
Anny Romand ...
Mme de Silva
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
M. Da Silva
...
Claude Lévèque ...
Le médecin de Mme de Chartres
Ricardo Trêpa ...
Intrus
Alain Guillo ...
Le directeur de Jouillerie
Jean-Loup Wolff ...
Le médecin de l'hôpital
Alexandre Nanaia
Marcel Terroux ...
Le Jardinier
Edit

Storyline

A well-bred, lovely, spiritual, sad young woman marries an attentive physician who loves her. She feels affection but no love. Soon after, without design, she falls in love with Pedro Abrunhosa, a poet and performance artist. He also loves her. She keeps her distance from him, confessing her love to a friend who is a nun and, later, to her husband. Hunger for her love and jealousy consume him; she attends him as he wastes away. With his death, she can marry and express her passion, but what she does and how she explains herself, particularly to her cloistered friend, is at the heart of the film. Glimpses of convent life and of Abrunhosa on stage give contrast and mute comment. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

22 September 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Carta  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Bewilderingly brilliant.
31 March 2000 | by (panama city, panama) – See all my reviews

A masterpiece from a relatively unknown master in his 90s, but a masterpiece that refuses to play the 'great film' game. The excessive reliance on dialogue, stilted performances, ludicrous stylisation and verbose intertitles; the refusal to completely modernise the 17th century material, leaving it in a temporal flatness; all point to gauche filmmaking, but de Oliveira has the last laugh, and as the rhythms and patterns of his editing and framing become apparent, as the deadpan comedy emerges, we notice the stunning labyrinth of repetition he is cunningly weaving, and the film becomes satirically forceful, metaphysically complex, but, most importantly, heartbreakingly human.


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