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4.2
157 Ratings

Francisca

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Portugal, 1981
Biography, Drama

Synopsis

The life of a young man, son of an English officer, who lets himself become a prisoner of love resulting in fatalism and disgrace.

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Francisca Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
While ostensibly a melodrama, Francisca has a strong undertone of comedic absurdity running through it, both in hilariously surreal sequences (for instance, a Catholic wedding ceremony in which legal attorneys stand in for the absent bride and groom) and in stylistic choices. His characters rarely talk to each other, for instance, instead announcing their lines while looking off into the distance (or, occasionally, straight into the camera).
September 14, 2016
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The [Tetralogy of Frustrated Love] ends with Francisca, one of his most critically successful films, and one of few that made him any money. By this point, de Oliveira could take the style he’d perfected in Doomed Love and apply it to shorter, better-funded projects. This shows, not only in the much better lighting of Francisca, but also in the European festival circuits around this time.
February 25, 2016
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Francisca’s sense of humor regularly manifests in ways that are obviously intended to be humorous, and “Who’s dead? Another poet at this time of year a lot of them die. Dysentery of the soul gets them and they’re gone” is pretty funny. And yet ultimately I have no idea what’s going on in this movie, what it wants of me, what kind of viewer it wishes to construct etc. There are forms of frustration I enjoy; this isn’t one of them.
February 23, 2016
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