I tried to connect with this piece considered by many one of the greatest in Portuguese cinema but all I could feel was utter boredom throughout its lengthy 3 hours. Exhausting voice over, pedantic text, lethargic pace, laughable in unintended moments and dusty overly theatrical acting except for the great Isabel Ruth which never fails to draw her characters with a masterful economy and genuine expressiveness.
It is as if you go for walk with an old man. He goes, step by step, deliberately, but surely, silently. No stumbles or staggers, no need to lean for him. His eyes are dazzling. Yet, the trip is a calvary for you. No idea what’s on his mind. No clue, what’s the destination. You just have accept his tempo. Thus you slow down. And that’s enough to look around with different eyes. And then it s l o w l y comes...
"Sabe-se lá quando o coração sofre ou ganha carvão para manter o calor". A primeira vez que a minha filha se ergueu sem apoio para ver quem tocava o violino. Uma eterna saudade de um tempo que mais não volta, de um país que existe nos cantos de uma memória distante.
Bresson , alain resnais master of creating inclusive harmony at cinema&literature . This is just an imitation of their harmony which is not succesfull. I found overrated and totally boring.Boredom is not related to length or film's subject. Director's method is boring , he doesnt want to tell story with images. His technique is only voice-over .
do we think of white when we see black, of the sun when we see the moon? associations through opposites. a burning desire wrapped in austerity, breathing between cold walls of earth-brown color. "i´m nothing, i'm a swinging state of mind".it´s not boredom, it's a feeling of being beaten whatever you do. willing to recognize ancient fires in caves in modern fireworks, but left frustrated. there´s energy but it´s like
Manoel de Oliveira reaches here the peak of his artistic style, showing the maturity of a cinema that belongs to the latter classical tradition. This subtle and delightful game of mirrors revolves around a flawless performance by Leonor Silveira, and constitutes one of the most elaborated —yet simple— aesthetic achievements of this unforgettable filmmaker.
The narrative is often confused; the film is full of ellipses that the viewers need to fill. A great complex and very personal adaptation based on one of the finest novel of all time. Strong and nuanced performance by Leonor Silveira, excellent but difficult to grasp screenplay, beautiful cinematography, many absurdity, anachronism!!! and funny reference to Madame Bovary. (need second VHS viewing)