21 user 171 critic

Mysteries of Lisbon (2010)

Mistérios de Lisboa (original title)
1:53 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals.


(as Raúl Ruiz)


(book), (screenplay)
20 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mysteries of Lisbon (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals.

Stars: Adriano Luz, Ricardo Pereira, Maria João Bastos
Tabu I (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A restless retired woman teams up with her deceased neighbor's maid to seek out a man who has a secret connection to her past life as a farm owner at the foothill of Mount Tabu in Africa.

Director: Miguel Gomes
Stars: Telmo Churro, Miguel Gomes, Hortêncílio Aquina
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A regular family living in the outskirts of Lisbon sees the serenity of their lives shaken beyond any remedy within a week.

Director: João Canijo
Stars: Rafael Morais, Rita Blanco, Anabela Moreira
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman arrives at a farm threatened by a plague. The bewildered farmers yield to her interventions and the immediate neighborhood come to think of Alejandra as their great hope and she starts to be revered like a saint.

Director: Maximiliano Schonfeld
Stars: Ailín Salas, Lucas Schell
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A drunken sailor recounts the surrealistic odyssey of his life story to a murderous student.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Jean-Bernard Guillard, Philippe Deplanche, Nadège Clair
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

It has been fifteen years since the death of her father, Agamemnon, and Elektra still burns with hatred for Aegisztosz, who conspired with Elektra's mother to kill him.

Director: Miklós Jancsó
Stars: Mari Töröcsik, György Cserhalmi, József Madaras
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Jean-Marie Straub
Stars: Heinrich Hargesheimer, Carlheinz Hargesheimer, Martha Staendner
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

It was the year 1984 when a group of architects decided to organize a one night music band as a New Year's party joke in Kaunas, Lithuania. The joke proved to be so good that rumors about ... See full summary »

Director: Giedre Zickyte
Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the heart of Portugal, amid the mountains, the month of August is abuzz with people and activity... See full synopsis »

Director: Miguel Gomes
Stars: Sónia Bandeira, Fábio Oliveira, Joaquim Carvalho
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama that plays itself out in a hallucinatory parallel reality.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier
Vincere (2009)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of Mussolini's secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino.

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi


Cast overview, first billed only:
Padre Dinis & Sabino Cabra & Sebastião de Melo
Ângela de Lima
Elisa de Montfort
Pedro da Silva Adulto
João Arrais ...
Pedro da Silva Criança (as João Luis Arrais)
Conde de Santa Bárbara
João Baptista ...
D. Pedro da Silva
Martin Loizillon ...
Padre Dinis Jovem
Julien Alluguette ...
Benoit de Montfort
Rui Morisson ...
Marquês de Montezelos
D. Álvaro de Albuquerque
Maria João Pinho ...
Condessa de Vizo
José Manuel Mendes ...
Frei Baltazar da Encarnação


Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Epic Life He Could Only Imagine


Drama | Mystery | Romance


See all certifications »





| |

Release Date:

20 October 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Misterios de Lisboa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,308 (USA) (5 August 2011)


$110,507 (USA) (4 November 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.13 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Perfect match of director and material
1 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When Raoul Ruiz adapts existing material, he tends to reconfigure the narrative in a playful way, often obliterating all coherence in the process. In his writings on film, specifically Poetics of Cinema, he is quite critical of what he calls central conflict theory. The idea behind this theory is that narrative, especially film narrative, must be built around a single conflict and that every aspect of the plot must build on this conflict one way or another. Ruiz noticed this phenomenon and gave it a name, but it was so common that popular screen writing guides used it as an incontrovertible rule. Poetics of Cinema is devoted almost entirely to explaining and criticizing central conflict theory. Ruiz was never content merely to criticize this simplistic yet ubiquitous narrative structure in writing, however; commentary on it is often embedded in the films he makes. Unsurprisingly, his films intentionally eschew anything resembling this structure but they tend to go even further and offer playful deconstructions of the concept.

Although I can't claim much familiarity with the novel Ruiz is adapting in Mysteries of Lisbon (it apparently hasn't been translated to English yet) it undoubtedly lends itself especially well to his ludic, subversive style. Rather than follow the conflict of a single continuous narrative, Mysteries of Lisbon explores several interrelated narrative strands that complement one another unusually well as they're full of cases of important coincidental relationships and frustrated love affairs. Thus, Ruiz has less to subvert and more to emphasize.

Ruiz's visual style has always been highly unusual. He favors the frequent use of Dutch angles and he often creates startling juxtapositions with his unusual framing techniques and occasional superimpositions. While these unusual techniques are always welcome, they can become somewhat exhausting when they occur frequently. Since Mysteries of Lisbon is unusually long (the version I watched was around 260 minutes) it's perhaps unsurprising that Ruiz manages to space these out carefully enough to draw attention to all the right places and break up the monotony of the more conventional period piece style he favors in this film. Even at its least inspired, however, Mysteries of Lisbon offers far more visual stimulation than the stuffy fidelity of a film by Merchant and Ivory or Oscar fodder such as The King's Speech. Unlike most directors working with similar material, Ruiz captures vast landscapes and baroque interiors with the same effortless mastery. Even the frequent long takes are made more interesting by carefully employed tracking shots.

Mysteries of Lisbon represents the rare combination of a director at the top of his game working with material perfectly suited for his unique sensibilities. Cinema doesn't get much better than this.

37 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Festival showings and prizes ExpFil
Was the orphan Joao only having a dream? mikesimms2-983-773040
anyone seen the entire film? questions dbordett
Trailer Music lureynol
Why did someone faint at the party? Red-125
Costume design! okrim37
Discuss Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: