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Mysteries of Lisbon-Movie Review 07/15/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Athens Panorama of European Cinema, Golden Globes, London Critics Circle Film Awards, Prix Louis Delluc, Raoul Ruiz, São Paolo International Film Festival.

Mysteries of Lisbon (Portuguese/French) 2010
Based on the novel by Camilo Castelo Branco

Directed by Raoul Ruiz
Starring Adriano Luz, Maria João Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, João Arrais, Joana de Verona, and Clotilde Hesme

Among other wins and nominations:
WINNER, Best Film, Athens Panorama of European Cinema
WINNER, Best Actor (Luz); Best Actress (Bastos); Best Film, NOMINATED, Best Actor (Pereira); Best Actress (de Verona), Golden Globes
NOMINATED, ALFS Award, Foreign Language Film of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards
WINNER, Best Film (Ruiz), Prix Louis Delluc
WINNER, Critics Award-Best Film (Ruiz), São Paulo International Film Festival

Based on Portuguese author Camilo Castelo Branco’s popular 19th-century novel, originally published serially in newspapers, Mysteries of Lisbon generally follows the story of João (Arrais), a boy whose parents were forbidden to marry. Raised by Padre Dinis (Luz), a kindly priest, the teenage João wishes to know the truth about his parentage. The viewer soon discovers that no one is who they seem to be.

Some compare Branco’s lengthy (900+ pages) novel to those of Charles Dickens, and the length of the film (more than 4 hours) might cause many to give pause, so caveat spector in that regard. Director Ruiz skillfully weaves the novel’s sprawling diversions and intertwining stories, which include subtle humor and the occasional flight of fancy. I found the story, with its depiction of the customs and lifestyles of the aristocracy of that time period, interesting, entertaining, and touching at the same time.

257 min. Not rated. Suitable for teens.



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