About an aging Swiss professor of classical languages who, after a chance encounter with a Portuguese woman, quits his job and travels to Lisbon in the hope of discovering the fate of a certain author, a doctor and poet who fought against Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Written by
The scene when Adriana (Charlotte Rampling) first meets Raimund in her home has a lot of similarities with the scene in Angel Heart (1987) where Charlotte Rampling's character Margaret Krusemark receives Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) in her home. In both scenes, it's the first (and rather uncomfortable meeting) between the characters. In both scenes, Rampling offers tea and makes some comments about the choice of tea. In both scenes, a maid is asked to bring the tea and an old photograph of the father of Ramplings character is discussed and becomes important to the scene. See more »
The chess set has the knights and bishops reversed. See more »
Given that we live only a small part of what there is in us - what happens with the rest?
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I found this movie more like a great book, the pace was such that you could synchronize with the dialogue and think about what was going on. I was only vaguely aware that there had been a dictatorship in Portugal during the 70s so this was an important revelation. I did know that Portugal was slowly pulling out of its various foreign colonial possessions, as most European powers did after World War II.
I could not help thinking of there being a connection between Amadeu de Prado and the world famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. The shots of Lisbon are wonderful, the beautiful harbour and hilly narrow streets. I could imagine Vasco da Gama's fleet leaving the port during Portugal's period of world exploration. The acting was superb, Jeremy Irons was the perfect Prof. On the surface absent minded and intellectual, but in practice, seizing the moment with an iron courage to probe the truth no matter where it led, but with a sense of humour knowing that nothing in life is all black or white. Martina Gedeck was so believable and you like her more and more with each shot. Tom Courtney's performance as João Eça was amazing but scary when you realize what happens to ordinary people during extraordinary times.
Many themes are encountered such as friendship, betrayal, and life as a chaotic process without any divine guidance. My hope is at the end of the film our professor needed a second adjustment for his new glasses.
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