6.1/10
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The Convent (1995)

O Convento (original title)
The journey of Michael Padovic, an American professor who arrives with his wife, Helene, at a Portuguese convent where he expects to find the documents needed to prove his theory: ... See full summary »

Director:

Manoel de Oliveira

Writers:

Manoel de Oliveira (scenario and dialogue), Agustina Bessa-Luís (inspired by an idea from)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Catherine Deneuve ... Hélène
John Malkovich ... Michael
Luís Miguel Cintra Luís Miguel Cintra ... Baltar
Leonor Silveira Leonor Silveira ... Piedade
João Bénard da Costa João Bénard da Costa ... Baltazar (as Duarte de Almeida)
Heloísa Miranda Heloísa Miranda ... Berta
Gilberto Gonçalves Gilberto Gonçalves ... Fisherman
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Storyline

The journey of Michael Padovic, an American professor who arrives with his wife, Helene, at a Portuguese convent where he expects to find the documents needed to prove his theory: Shakespeare was born in Spain; not in England. Written by Hugo Lopes <l41340@alfa.ist.utl.pt>

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Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Offertorium (Concerto for violin & orchestra, 1980)
Music by Sofiya Gubaydulina (as Sofia Gubaidulia)
Violin: Gidon Kremer
Conducted by Charles Dutoit
Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon 42 336-2
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User Reviews

 
Amateurish Effort
28 June 2009 | by clefzetSee all my reviews

Two stars for fairly competent cinematography. Good composition and good camera movement without glitzy focus-racking thru the forest.

Malkovich and Deneuve are there only for their names. The real acting takes place with the Porteguese? actors. And they struggle with the pretentious dialog.

The two worst offenses are committed by the director who explains the characters and their actions thru narration ( or awkward scenes with minor actors describing the main characters by using some vaguely occult terminology) rather than showing their characters and motivations thru their actions and their own dialog. It is a movie, after all, not an essay. Second offense is the music, which is overwhelming at times. Using Stravinsky with violent string passages to imply evil, danger, foreboding etc could work, but it didn't for this production. Just loud and annoying without any real matching action.

It reminded me greatly of a university master's thesis film I worked on 37 years ago--(fortunately not mine). Lots of fantasy, lots of literary allusions, lots of mood, pointless scenery long shots, more than a few long takes that the director fell in love with and the editor was not inclined (or allowed) to abbreviate, and some really over-the-top acting moments (as when Baltar meets the prof's wife for the first time). Down, boy, down! I rented it because I am trying to catch up on some Deneuve films that I missed over the years, but I'm sorry I did. She must have really needed some money to have done this one.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Portugal | France

Language:

French | English | Portuguese | German

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Convent See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$52,609
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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