6.6/10
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55 user 47 critic

A Talking Picture (2003)

Um Filme Falado (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, History | 15 October 2003 (Portugal)
Lisbon, Marseilles, Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Cairo, Aden, and Bombay. Along with a university teacher and her little daughter, we embark on a long journey, experiencing different cultures and civilizations.

Director:

Manoel de Oliveira

Writer:

Manoel de Oliveira (scenario and dialogue)

On Disc

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Madragoa Filmes [Portugal]

Country:

Portugal | France | Italy

Language:

Portuguese | French | Italian | English | Greek

Release Date:

15 October 2003 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

A Talking Picture See more »

Filming Locations:

Athens, Greece See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,325, 12 December 2004

Gross USA:

$20,237

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$601,815
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Irene Papas' third and final collaboration with Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, and also Papas' last movie before she retired. See more »

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User Reviews

 
the movie is like the sea itself
20 August 2005 | by samtropySee all my reviews

I highly recommend this movie for anyone with an open mind and patience. My own enjoyment of it was further enhanced by my love of languages, zeal for seeking subtext, and boredom with conventional film clichés. If you're like me in this respect, I think you'll enjoy this film. If you're looking for a thrill ride or expect one of the standard narrative forms, you will not.

The film behaves like the sea it frequently depicts. Lilting, undulating, splashing, and crashing randomly on its poetically simple story line: a Portuguese woman and her daughter set out on a cruise to meet their husband/father in Bombay. Along the way, they stop in various cities and have conversations about the history of the places they're visiting.

At first viewing, the films seems like a mixture of luxuriously long shots of ships and waves, stilted conversations between wooden actors, random scenes with strange editing, and almost no musical score. But the more I think about the film, the more the subtle meanings haunt me. The film was not an "upper", but I can't help smiling when I think about it.

I think the point was this: Through its academic recitation of history, a mother's explanations to her child, and an unsettling dose of present day reality, this movie contextualizes life in a way no other film I know of does. Good and Evil brought full circle? The grand flaw of humanity laid bare? An excercise in audience-manipulation? Whichever: Very rewarding.


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