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777 Ratings

Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl

Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Portugal, France, 2009
Romance, Drama
  • Portuguese
  • English


Adapted from a 19th-century novella by Eça de Queiroz, Manoel de Oliveira’s exquisite film is the story of an ill-fated romance between a young accountant and a mysterious woman he spies through his window.

Our take

A small masterpiece from one of cinema’s great miniaturists, this exquisite short feature by Manoel de Oliveira is based on based on the short story by Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós. This sumptuous tale honors the sublime ardor and mysteries of love, unraveling the true image behind the fantasy.

Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
What are the characters looking at? And why is the camera placed in this strange location, perched above them so they look like they’re transfixed by the tripod legs? Also, why do they never make eye contact? What seems a familiar setup is rendered subtly off through its presentation, a trait I’d use to describe the film as a whole.
January 22, 2014
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In its ethereal effects, the film seems to aim to be barely there, but finally reveals itself as grave and lapidary as any of the century-old maestro’s epics of thwarted or doomed love. Its ending is among the most desolate in de Oliveira’s cinema, invading a space to disclose something that the film’s narrator did not witness, the utter collapse of his betrothed, thus impelling us to revise the foregoing tale as a work hovering, in its exquisitely tuned ironies, near inconsequence.
September 21, 2010
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If this tale weren’t so endearing and well told, it’d be more akin to one of those lengthy jokes told by aged uncles lacking in point or punchline. As it is, we’re carried through by Oliveira’s subtle, perfectly placed, but barely moving camera, often pointed directly into the wall seams of cramped rooms, subtly emphasizing the curvature of the lens and the cinematic vantage point from which we’re receiving Macário’s story.
October 01, 2009
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