Down 3,215 this week

A Talking Picture (2003)
"Um Filme Falado" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,519 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 53 user | 46 critic | 14 from

A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens... See full summary »



(scenario and dialogue)
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 19 May 2013
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 25 titles
created 5 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Talking Picture (2003)

A Talking Picture (2003) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Talking Picture.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A photographer is asked by hotel owners to take portraits of their recently deceased daughter.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Pilar López de Ayala, Filipe Vargas, Leonor Silveira
A Caixa (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Stories about neighboring in Lisbon are told by a homeless blind man who's only means of support is his elm box.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Luís Miguel Cintra, Glicínia Quartin, Ruy de Carvalho
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A true story of a doctor and his wife who went on a journey in order to prove that discoverer Christopher Columbus was in fact Portuguese.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Ricardo Trêpa, Leonor Baldaque, Manoel de Oliveira
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a mental institution the patients see themselves as people like Jesus, Lázaro, Marta, Maria, Adão, Eve, Sonia, Raskolnikov, Aliosha e Ivan Karamasov, a Philosopher, a Profet, Santa Teresa d'Avila, reciting the Divine Comedy.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Maria de Medeiros, Miguel Guilherme, Luís Miguel Cintra
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Ricardo Trêpa, Luís Miguel Cintra, Glória de Matos
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of Father Antonio Vieira, a 17th-century Portuguese priest who lived in Brazil and worked for better treatment of the Indians and to abolish slavery.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Lima Duarte, Luís Miguel Cintra, Ricardo Trêpa
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Manoel is aging film director who travels with the film crew through Portugal in search of the origins of Afonso, a famous French actor whose father emigrated from Portugal to France and in... See full summary »

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Yves Gautier, Leonor Silveira
Os Canibais (1988)
Musical | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A drama following stories of characters from the Portuguese High Society.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Luís Miguel Cintra, Leonor Silveira, Diogo Dória
La lettre (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Pedro Abrunhosa, Antoine Chappey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set in the late 19th century, about a honored but poor patriarch who sacrifices himself to protect his fugitive son.

Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Stars: Michael Lonsdale, Claudia Cardinale, Jeanne Moreau
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

On September 27, 1810, the French troops commanded by Marshal Massena, were defeated in the Serra do Buçaco by the Anglo-Portuguese army of general Wellington. Despite the victory, ... See full summary »

Director: Valeria Sarmiento
Stars: Nuno Lopes, Soraia Chaves, Marisa Paredes
Hideous Man (2002)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: John Malkovich
Stars: John Malkovich, Camilla Rutherford, Arielle Dombasle


Complete credited cast:
Leonor Silveira ...
Rosa Maria
Filipa de Almeida ...
Maria Joana
Comandante John Walesa
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Himself - Portuguese Actor
Michel Lubrano di Sbaraglione ...
François Da Silva ...
Cliente do Pescador
Nikos Hatzopoulos ...
Padre Ortodoxo
Antònio Ferraiolo ...
Cicerone Pompeia
Alparslan Salt ...
Cicerone Museu de Santa Sophia
Ricardo Trêpa ...
David Cardoso ...
Júlia Buisel ...
Amiga de Delfina


A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo, a professor tells her young daughter about myth, history, religion, and wars. Men approach her; she's cool, on her way to her husband in Bombay. After Cairo, for two evenings divided by a stop in Aden, the captain charms three successful, famous (and childless) women, who talk with wit and intellect, each understanding the others' native tongue, a European union. The captain asks mother and child to join them. He gives the girl a gift. Helena sings. Life can be sweet. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | History | War


See all certifications »


Official Sites:


| |


| | | |

Release Date:

15 October 2003 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

A Talking Picture  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,325 (USA) (10 December 2004)


$12,978 (USA) (21 January 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Mediterranean Tour
27 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A Talking Picture winds through the Mediterranean world at the leisurely pace of a tourist, taking in the sights, basking in the glow of civilization and its glories. Its director, Manoel de Oliveira, is not concerned with incident, with plot - he's concerned with ideas, with conversation. His movie is not called A Talking Picture for nothing; it is full of talking, some worth listening to and some not. Most of the worthwhile verbiage comes from a character named Rosa Maria (Leonor Silveira), a Portuguese history professor on a cruise with her young daughter (Filipa de Almeida). The mother-and-daughter are de Oliveira's device for presenting his ideas - the daughter asks elementary questions and the mother answers them, and through this simple back-and-forth, occasionally joined by other characters, de Oliveira creates the educational narration to go with his slide-show of the important sites of the extended Mediterranean world - Pompeii, The Acropolis, St. Sophia's, the Pyramids. Or maybe educational isn't the right word. De Oliveira doesn't seem as interested in informing us as he is in reminding us. The film doesn't take on any more of a professorial air than Rosa Maria does; Rosa Maria doesn't make lofty pronouncements and neither does the movie. The director's purpose is to share his appreciation for the myths, the legends, the monuments of Western Civilization, and he does so with the right kind of humbleness. It's only as the film reaches its climax that we begin to realize how darkened by uncertainty, even foreboding, de Oliveira's view of things is.

The film veers away from its pleasing, leisurely travelogue structure in the later passages, focusing instead on a group of rich, famous women entertaining, and being entertained by, the (presumably) charming ship's captain, played by the smug John Malkovich. It's here that some of the movie's charm falls away and it begins smelling of pompousness: the rich women all sit around chattering about themselves, making political observations, acting as mouthpieces for de Oliveira. The movie's whole sense of space becomes strangled in the ship's dining room; the expansive Mediterranean vistas are replaced by simply staged shots of Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Irene Papas and the Italian actress Stefania Sandrelli all sitting at the table being very witty (at least they think they are). The picture is saved in the end by Papas, whose character sings a lovely old Greek folk song, a song whose sad, simple melody seems a perfect ode to the civilization whose passing de Oliveira already seems in the process of mourning. Forces are at work to destroy the world de Oliveira loves: it's suddenly announced that the ship has a bomb on it, planted by terrorists at the last port-of-call.

The movie only becomes allegorical in the end, a sort of miniature Ship of Fools (take out the Porterian psychodrama and that's what you're left with) where the multilingual, erudite characters represent civilization and the bomb the looming specter of fundamentalism. For much of its run the film is less thematically over-bearing, less spatially shrunken. In its best moments it is barely more than a Discovery Channel documentary, a tour of the significant historic sites of the Mediterranean, but created by someone with a genuine sense of history, a love of civilization and all it stands for, and the ability to view things not politically or even morally but with the sagely eye of one who has made their peace with humanity (de Oliveira is almost a hundred after all). It's irrelevant whether A Talking Picture is good cinema or not - certainly there are better-staged movies - for what matters is not the form but the tone, the sense of embracing. The film's charms are modest but they're there, and they have nothing to do with the playing out of some dramatic story (when forced to deal with plot de Oliveira seems almost embarrassed). They have to do with loving words, loving places, loving ideas, and doing so unabashedly yet humbly.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Very interesting ...... bama1111
Haga Sofia, Istanbul? Sybil Vane
Fact Checking? chato2046
Discuss A Talking Picture (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: