6.8/10
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55 user 87 critic

Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

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ON DISC
Swiss Professor Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons) abandons his lectures and buttoned-down life to embark on a thrilling adventure that will take him on a journey to the very heart of himself.

Director:

Bille August

Writers:

Greg Latter (screenplay), Ulrich Herrmann (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Raimund Gregorius
Mélanie Laurent ... Young Estefânia
Jack Huston ... Amadeu
Martina Gedeck ... Mariana
Tom Courtenay ... Older João Eça
August Diehl ... Young Jorge O'Kelly
Bruno Ganz ... Older Jorge O'Kelly
Lena Olin ... Older Estefânia
Marco D'Almeida ... Young João
Beatriz Batarda ... Young Adriana
Christopher Lee ... Father Bartolomeu
Charlotte Rampling ... Older Adriana
Nicolau Breyner Nicolau Breyner ... Da Silva
Jane Thorne Jane Thorne ... Older Clotilde
Burghart Klaußner ... Judge Prado
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Storyline

This movie is about aging Swiss Professor Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons) 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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only when you are lost can you truly find yourself. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of violence, and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

6 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comboio Noturno Para Lisboa See more »

Filming Locations:

Caxias, Portugal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€7,700,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,962,375, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lena Olin (older Estefánia), Bruno Ganz (older Jorge O'Kelly), and Burghart Klaußner (Judge Prado) appeared in The Reader (2008), another movie about the remembrance of past events. See more »

Goofs

Young Estefania has a dark scar on her upper left cheek near her eye; no attempt to reproduce this scar appears on Estefania once she is older. See more »

Quotes

Raimund Gregorius: Look at these eyes. Tell me what they reveal.
Mariana: They melancholic, but hopeful; tired, but persistent... contradictory.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Salesman (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

One Day In Spring
Composer: Annette Focks
Piano: Sebastian Stemal, Bass: Matthias Akeo Nowak
Drums: Jonas Burgwinkel
Sound Mixer: Stefan Deistler
Recording & Mis Studio: Loft köln
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User Reviews

 
If You Like Your Ride Thoughtful and Introspective, This Train's For You
11 October 2015 | by kckidjoseph-1See all my reviews

"Night Train to Lisbon," an especially engrossing 2013 film now appearing on Netflix, may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those hungry for a movie without flying cars that instead pulls you in with an unusual plot and thoughtful, incisive performances by an exceptionally capable cast, this one's for you.

The film was nominated for six Sophia Awards _ the national film awards of Portugal _ including best picture, and won three, for best supporting actress (Beatrice Bartarda), best art direction and best make-up.

Directed by Bille August ("Pelle the Conqueror"), "Night Train to Lisbon" was adapted from a philosophical novel by Swiss author Pascal Mercier.

Mercier's quotations are spoken in voice-over by the film's protagonist, Raimund Gregorius, played by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, a quiet, lonely classical studies professor working in Bern, Switzerland, who rescues a young woman about to leap off a bridge and after she disappears, finds himself on a quest to Lisbon, not only to find her but to fully understand the story of a doctor-turned-poet whose book he discovers in the pocket of the coat she leaves behind.

The story isn't as dense or contrived as it sounds, thanks to the deft screenplay by Greg Latter and Ulrich Herrmann, and the uniform commitment to character and plot by Irons and a cast that includes veterans Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling, Christpher Lee and Lena Olin.

It's the kind of story that sucks us in because it's a kind of "getaway" piece: Who doesn't daydream in a Walter Mittyish way of getting away from it all and taking off on an historical detective story, which is what this is.

Once in Portugal, Irons' Gregorius sets about on a quest for the author but instead finds his sister, Adriana (Rampling as the mature version, Batarda as the younger), and learns that Amadeu died in 1974 and that only 100 copies of his book were printed. The sister has six of the books and, wondering what happened to the rest, is delighted to find that her late brother's limited edition work found an audience beyond her country's borders. Thus, a tenuous but all-important bond is formed between the soft-spoken, insightful professor and the poet's sibling.

The movie intersperses Raimund's investigation with flashbacks to a past in which we meet the young Amadeu (a superb Jack Huston), a member of the resistance to the dictatorship of António Salazar.

Through Adriana, Raimund meets the priest (Lee) who taught Amadeu, Amadeu's best friend, Jorge (Bruno Ganz in the older version, August Diehl in the younger), and learns of Estefania (the fiery Mélanie Laurent), a resistance fighter who was Jorge's girlfriend until she met and fell instantly in love with the handsome Amadeu.

After Raimund breaks his spectacles, he meets a sympathetic optician Mariana (Martina Gedeck) who by happenstance has an uncle named Joao (Courtenay as the elder version, Marco D'Almeida as the youthful one) who was also a member of the resistance and fills in the story. Late in the film, the strings of the plot are pulled together when Raimund finally meets the mature Estefania (a stunningly beautiful and completely believable Olin).

As I said, "Night Train to Lisbon" isn't for everyone, especially for those accustomed to tons of action and instant gratification via computer wizardry and slam bang eye-for-an-eye retribution, but it did it for me. It's extraordinarily literate and sumptuously photographed to boot, and it's not a stretch to say it contains threads of David Lean's wonderful 1965 film version of "Doctor Zhivago," albeit on a much smaller scale.

I was especially drawn to Irons' professor, a sensationally muted performance that holds the whole thing together.

Since you'll probably be watching this in your living room, "Night Train to Lisbon" is rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) for a scene of violence and brief sexuality (which really aren't all that bad).


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