Story of the 1974 coup that overthrew the right-wing Portuguese dictatorship--which continued the fascist policies of long-time dictator Antonio Salazar--and of two young army captains who were involved in it.
Maria de Medeiros
Maria de Medeiros,
Joaquim de Almeida
Belle toujours occurred to me unexpectedly and, as I had the will to pay my tribute to Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière, I was happy to have found a way to do so, perhaps the best, and I started working. What is it about? Taking two of the strange characters from the film Belle de Jour, and make them relive, thirty eight years later, in the strangeness of a secret which was only in the possession of the masculine character and a knowledge that had become crucial to the female character. Thus, passed this time, they meet again. She tries to avoid him by all means. But he stalks her and eventually manages to gain her attention with the intention of revealing the secret that he alone can unfold. They set a meeting, a dinner, where she expects that all will be revealed. During dinner, she, now a widow, awaits the expected revelation: what he had told her husband while he was mute and paralytic because of a gunshot wound fired by a lover of hers. The situation is tense and she ends up ... Written by
Manoel de Oliveira
Symphonie n° 8 en sol majeur - Op. 88 (mouvements 3 et 4)
(credited incorrectly as mouvements 2 et 3)
Composed by Antonín Dvorák
Performed by L'Orchestre de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian
Conducted by Lawrence Foster See more »
Running just a little over an hour in length, "Belle Toujours" is Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira's homage to "Belle De Jour," the classic French film from the 1960s, written and directed by Luis Bunuel. The original featured Catherine Deneuve as a beautiful bored housewife with masochistic fantasies who whiles away her afternoons working as a prostitute in a Paris brothel. In the "sequel," Michel Piccoli returns as Henri Husson, the friend who first suggested the brothel to Severine, and who, all these years later, has decided to have a rendezvous with the woman.
Though Piccoli reprises his role from the first movie, Severine is played by a different actress (Bulle Oglier), a casting imbalance that plays havoc with the symmetry of the piece. At least for "A Man and a Woman: Twenty Years Later," yet another misguided attempt at recapturing the magic of an earlier film, both Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant showed up for the reunion - though one can certainly sympathize with Deneuve's reluctance to lend her talents to this film, which is smug, self-indulgent, talky and inert, and does nothing to enhance one's memory of the original work (happily, the utter innocuousness of the film also prevents it from HARMING that memory as well).
Henri basically spends the first two-thirds of the movie vainly trying to "connect" with Severine (they keep just missing one another, like in one of those Feydeau bedroom farces), and the last third dining with her in an opulent private room where they talk at length about the past and she tries to convince him that she's a "different" woman from the one he knew before - which should be perfectly obvious to anyone who remembers Catherine Deneuve. Then it all culminates in a fizzle-out ending, and we're left dumbfounded and openmouthed, wondering what the purpose for any of it could possibly have been.
One thing, however, is certain: "Belle Toujours" is a complete waste of time and film.
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