A Talking Picture


Time Out says

Nonagenarian Portuguese auteur Oliveira's eccentric fable begins like a low key travelogue. A beautiful academic (Silveira) is taking her young daughter on a Grand Tour through Europe and the Near East, visiting the Acropolis, the Sphinx, Istanbul and various other cultural hotspots. Only gradually does it become apparent that the film is Oliveira's response to the events of 9/11. We listen as the academic sits at table with the sleek and cultured cruise ship captain (another purring performance from Malkovich) and discusses art, language, culture and history with three ever present female guests (Deneuve, Papas and Sandrelli). Then, we learn that there are terrorist bombs aboard and Oliveira's rambling, reflective essay lurches uncomfortably into thriller mode. The extraordinary final shot, at once tragic and absurd, shows that even in his 90s, Oliveira still knows how to wrong foot an audience.


Release details

96 mins

Cast and crew

Manoel de Oliveira
Manoel de Oliveira
Leonor Silveira
Filipa de Almeida
John Malkovich
Catherine Deneuve
Stefania Sandrelli
Irene Papas
Luís Miguel Cintra
Michel Lubrano di Sbaraglione
Francois Da Silva
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