Old Monteleone lives alone in a house littered with the relics of his past life in the circus. He hasn't worn his clown suit in years, but now he has good reason to. Today he'll wear his old makeup one last time.
Four versions of the same story, first in the perspective of a theatre play, second in the perspective of a silent film, third in the perspective of a film of the 50s and finally in a biblical philosophical perspective.
Manoel de Oliveira
Luís Miguel Cintra,
The tragedy and comedy in Carlo's life begins, grows and ends like the tragedy and comedy of Portugal. In the company of his close friend, João da Ega, allegedly a brilliant writer, Carlos,... See full summary »
This movie was adapted from the novel "Jacques le Fataliste" by Diderot. But with these transpositions of stories of past centuries to our present times you must be very careful in order to respect the literary values of those ancient times and at same time give credibility to the modern story. That's where this movie fails though formally well made and benefiting of a relaxed and pleasant narrative process. A private driver conducts his boss on an endless journey during which they talk about the driver's past life particularly in what concerns his former love adventures. Soon we realize that the roles are somewhat inverted and that the driver has some liberties which show that his respectful manners are only apparent and that psychologically at least he is the real boss there. There is an off voice narrator who comes now and then to keep the line on the story. Here and there the conversation between boss and driver is interrupted by occasional stops at inns where some more or less slightly funny episodes occur. In the last one another long story is told by the hostess (and we see it in images) featuring the romance first between a marquis and a fine widow and then between the same marquis and an ex-bar girl in an atmosphere much to the 18th century taste in which however we don't recognize our present values making it to sound a bit displaced. The dialogues between the two above referred main characters are hollow, artificial and full of cheap philosophy. Both actors are not very good in fact too. A so-so movie, in short.
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