Based on a famous 19th Century Portuguese novel, Raul Ruiz’s Mysteries of Lisbon follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil, as their lives intertwine.
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Let's play a drinking game. Every time someone burps or faints, or if there is a parrot in the scene or a dream sequence, take a sip of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You'll stay drunk for the whole 4 1/2 hours. If someone burps when the parrot is in the room, you'll know it's near the end of the movie.
A beautiful film and the craft of Ruiz is on full display, but I was never as engaged as I needed to be to carry me through the extended run time. I appreciate the artistry, but not one I'm likely to return to personally.
At it's core, and if it were directed in a more prosaic style, Mysteries of Lisbon would essentially be one big expository soap opera. But in Ruiz's hands, and with the enveloping, mesmerizing mood he creates, it becomes something more: a tract on how life is long, complicated, messy and beautiful, and you can spend your whole life trying to understand it without coming close.
Labyrinthine epic runs over 4 hours long, yet remains consistently engrossing. Unfolding like a great novel, MYSTERIES OF LISBON centers around a young boy growing up in an orphanage, whose quest to discover his true identity leads him through three decades and multitudes of people, who drift in and out of his life, each telling their own stories. A sprawling and grand literary feast of exotic characters and locales.
Beautifully made, well acted, impeccably produced, and somehow remote. Some good fun with the narrative threads, but I was never as engaged as I wanted to be, as I was by Ruiz's brilliant TIME REGAINED.
Raul Ruiz nos apresenta um cinema manuseado com facilidade em terra instável: Ali onde o melodrama se confunde com a comédia, onde a realidade se decompõe em um perverso jogo de paradoxos, é nesse ponto que o cineasta nos lança em um labirinto de espelhos. Dá vertigem. E esse é o ponto: Fazer cócegas no cérebro com falatórios brilhantes, precisos, gigantescos, encerrados em um único plano-sequência.