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beautifully shot but kinda static film benefits greatly from leading lady's likability
Film is a pretty but sluggish walk through Lisbon as this actress is in town to shoot a film about a nun who falls in mad passionate love with a sailor on leave. The actress wanders around Lisbon at night and finds an actual nun who seems to never leave a kneeling position at the altar of one of the churches she comes across in her wanderings. The actress then starts obsessing about said nun, as well as having several encounters with various men of Lisbon--and none of the amorous kind which is all the more surprising given how pretty the leading actress is. That's more or less it in terms of plot--but the plot is besides the point here.
The point (i think) is about how the life force of a city can influence the life force of its citizenry--and how this can have a great affect on any visitors looking to get lost amongst its peoples. Its not a bad watch--Lisbon is shot very very nicely throughout--and the leading actress while not getting to really express anything beyond vague sentiments about destiny and fate and the like is pleasant enough company for the two or so hours running time.
She does have a horrible habit of looking directly and intently into the camera--seemingly at the audience in various shots throughout the film. That this happens repeatedly throughout is obviously meant as a directorial touch--but one that becomes rather irritating the more its repeated (irritating that is until it becomes funny because it happens so often enough that it soon becomes several characters who once they finish speaking end up starting intently into the camera--almost as if they're daring us to disagree with what they just said!) The pacing of the film while deliberate is definitely of the slow kind. Its not bad if you're looking for a nice leisurely wander through Lisbon--but its not as if much happens...and yet i was hardly bored while watching it. Film is somewhat captivating as the hypnotically good looking leading lady walks around staring at things and taking in the locals and customs. Film actually reminded me of Jim Jarmusch's Limits of Control where despite differences in genders and professions, both films are essentially about its main characters killing time between jobs wandering around a city and trying to take in the specific time and place of a specific culture--and its citizenry. On that front its definitely successful.
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