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The Invisible Life

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
The Invisible Life

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

When his boss and mentor falls seriously ill, Lisbon government functionary Hugo (Filipe Duarte) goes into a tailspin. He looks back on his life, descends into a vortex of regret, and spends increasing amounts of time in his darkened office after everyone else has gone home.

Yes, it’s an introspective ‘man and his room’ Euro art movie in the classic mould, as veteran Portuguese writer-director Vitor Gonçalves takes us on a journey within a churning, troubled soul. Daringly, Gonçalves dispenses with much of the usual storytelling signposts, offering only the barest of plot (an ex-girlfriend stirs up more old memories). Instead, he delivers an expressive collage of darkness and light, empty rooms and hushed conversations: a vision of Lisbon still musing on its former glories, all interspersed with evocatively mysterious home-movie footage of bracing northern landscapes.

Both an interior portrait and an index of the modern Portuguese psyche, marooned between past and future, this defiantly individual film casts a spell as moody and immersive as any dark ambient soundscape or Edward Hopper canvas. As they say in Portugal – a special one.

Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 17 April 2015
  • Duration:103 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Vítor Gonçalves
  • Screenwriter:Vítor Gonçalves, Mónica Santana Baptista
  • Cast:
    • Filipe Duarte
    • Maria João Pinho
    • João Perry
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