The Portuguese Nun (2009) Mubi

December 3rd, 2022
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Eugene Green | Leonor Baldaque, Adrien Michaux, Beatrix Batarda | 127min

This study of love and faith seen through the eyes of Julie, a French actress visiting Lisbon to shoot a film, is both a tribute to Portuguese cinema and an eulogy to the mist-laden Atlantic port.

Green – who also stars – manages to evoke the melancholy still silence of the city with a deft interweaving of lingering static shots over the Tagus, crumbling facades and empty courtyards, and in the mournful faces of Fado musicians whose sad songs emanate from bars as Julie wanders round exploring. Wishing you were here, or wishing I were there, is very much the message here. Julie has a chance meeting with a mysterious aristocrat who takes her out to dinner then disappears, and then with another French actor who plays her lover for a one-night stand. But her life will change forever when she comes across a gentle orphan boy called Vasco, and a Portuguese nun whose subtle appeal is quietly mesmerising MTĀ©

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