João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute, Paraíso dos Gelados (Ice-Cream Paradise). Through a unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and... See full summary »
João César Monteiro
João César Monteiro,
Manuela de Freitas
Pedro and Rui kiss after a first-anniversary dinner; Pedro drives home, dying en route in a crash. Another pair of lovers, Odete and Alberto, split over her desire to have a child. Pedro ... See full summary »
João Pedro Rodrigues
Ana Cristina de Oliveira,
The movie focuses on one of the events in Zendegi Edame Darad (1992), and explores the relationship between the movie director, and the actors. The local actors play a couple who got ... See full summary »
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz,
A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.
This was a poor choice for my Friday night viewing. I am usually glad when my channel programming allows seeing something else than the usual American stuff. I like exploring new cinematographic territories, and I have been rewarded with many of the finest movies that I have ever seen. This was probably my first Portuguese movie, and it was made more promising as the imdb information was pointing to the director Manoel de Oliveira as to a veteran of the Portuguese cinema, some kind of a Bunuel of Portugal.
What a disappointment! The movie is so static, full of completely still scenes serving as background for human rights preaching in Catholic language. According to the official site - '"Palavra e Utopia" cannot be classified as a documentary, a biography, or a historical or didactic film, despite its chronological format. Rather, I would call it a fiction, with all the premises this will allow.' Actually it looks like a combination of the worst of the above. None of the rules of cinema fiction seem to be applied to create what a good film is about - emotion, identification with the characters, communicating the ideas in an artistic manner. Acting is good, but it does not help when all the rest of the movie is so boringly didactic.
I am not very familiar with Portuguese history. Father Viera's historic character seems to have been important (kind of a Thomas More of his country and time), and he would have deserved a better film.
Unless you are a fan of Portuguese history or moral preaching, you should avoid this film.
4 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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