The Strange Case of Angelica

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Manoel de Oliveira's rapturous, otherworldly romance—about a photographer who falls in love with one of his subjects, a dead newlywed who visits him as a smiling ghost—appears to take place in the present day. But certain details, such as the condescending remarks made about the photographer's Jewishness, seem very much of another period. It's a deliberate choice. The tension between the modern and the archaic will be familiar to those who know De Oliveira's work—it's a theme he's often explored. Yet it crystallizes here into something sublime, especially whenever the specter herself appears, taunting her earthly inamorato with Mlis-like visions of the great beyond.—Keith Uhlich

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