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The Portuguese Nun ( A Religiosa Portuguesa ) ( La monja portuguesa (La religieuse portugaise) )

Leonor Baldaque , Francisco Mozos , Eugène Green    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £30.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Leonor Baldaque, Francisco Mozos, Diogo Dória, Ana Moreira, Eugène Green
  • Directors: Eugène Green
  • Format: Import, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Gaumont
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004IN64TQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,049 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


France released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Portuguese ( Dolby Surround ), English ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: Julie, a young French actress and a fluent Portuguese speaker, is in Lisbon for the first time. She is shooting a film based on "Letters from a Portuguese Nun," a 17th-century epistolary novel, recently attributed to man of letters and French diplomat the Count de Guilleragues. During the filming, the actress gets to know the city and the daily life of its inhabitants, all the more pleased to do so since she is recovering from a bad relationship. Every night Julie comes across enigmatic and transient characters and she draws upon these experiences for the next day's filming. The role of the Portuguese nun, who succumbs to her passion for a young French officer, also has a resonance with her own past. One night, she notices a young nun, kneeling in the Nossa Senhora chapel, where they have been filming. This woman lies prostrate night after night, praying until morning. It is the exchange between these two woman that will change Julie's destiny forever.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning love-letter to Lisbon 29 July 2013
By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE
I absolutely love this film, one of the best of recent years. On one level, it is an exquisite love-letter to Lisbon, with some stunning scenery and gorgeous songs. On another level, it is a kind of meditation on the theme that, whoever or wherever we are, we would prefer to be someone or somewhere else; this is constantly referred to in both the dialogue and the song lyrics. Until, that is, the uplifting ending, when the protagonist Julie discovers her true vocation in life.
It is also one of those self-reflexive films about making a film (worthy predecessors include Singin' in the Rain and Fellini's Eight-and-a-Half). The story tells of Julie, a French actress in Lisbon to star in a film of a 17th century literary work called Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun. The director of the film-within-a-film, Eugene Green, also happens to be the film's director! Julie meets a real nun, has an intense 10-minute conversation (the key scene of the entire film), and her life is changed forever.
The very deliberate and mannered acting style will not appeal to all viewers, but for me it is perfectly judged. The characters speak similarly to those in an Ozu film, though a better reference-point might be the late films of Carl Dreyer.
Highly recommended for connoisseurs of the "slow cinema" movement, my only criticism of the DVD is that, apart from a trailer, there are no extras.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an Impressionist Painting 23 April 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a stunningly beautiful film. It is worth looking at just for the camera work. It also includes several atmospheric and enjoyable Portuguese songs sung by performers in Lisbon bars.
It is definitely not a fast moving action film, so if that is what you are looking for this is not for you. Just settle down in comfort, relax, and enjoy a leisurely immersion in the sights and folk music of Lisbon. It is a rewarding film, with a surprising ending, an ending which is, strangely, highly appropriate to what is happening in the UK today - but you have to pay close attention to what is being said.
The actress who plays Julie is mesmerising, as is the actress who plays the nun (although her part is shorter). Together they are rivetting. The little boy, is, of course, adorable.
This film deserves to be better know. I only came across it by accident, and I'm glad that I did.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A most peculiar film. 2 stars for being pleasantly photographed, albeit with excessive use of panning and foot shots. The storyline is watery-thin. The conversations surreal. It would surely calm a whirling dervish, especially if he had no interest in the content of the soundtrack and so would not be distracted by trying to work out whether it was meant to be a joke or not. In a nutshell, a pretty but often vacant-looking woman turns up at a hotel and she and the receptionist stare fixedly at each other while conducting a robotic-style conversation in monotone, and later she wanders around Lisbon a fair bit. She is there because she had done some soundtrack work for a film being made about a Portugese nun, whose story sounds quite interesting from the DVD blurbs but which is scarcely addressed in the actual film. Instead we mostly follow the pretty-often-vacant-looking woman as she moves around Lisbon streets and ocasional bars, finding a real nun and a little boy in the street whom she ends up adopting. He is a bit of a starer too, and the film ends with them both staring away at a grand view over the city. I deserve a medal for watching it through to the end, not least because others in my family who endured it at the same time thanks to my purchase and encouragement will surely not let me forget it over the next few years at least.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a very strange but beautiful film 1 Sep 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Portuguese Nun [DVD]Gosh, I still don't know exactly what it was all about! I have to admit that it was rather enchanting but strange.
The magic of the movie is in the lush filming of Lisbon, the fado singing in the small cafes' and camera lingering on the face of the lovely leading lady. There is a delightful small boy, and a cast of strange characters they come and go. But in the end I was not quite sure what to make of it. However I did enjoy the film, but I would not recommend it to anyone who is not prepared to sit through a slow film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spirit level 24 Dec 2013
By technoguy VINE VOICE
A French-speaking actress of Portuguese origin,Julie, has come to Lisbon to make a film about a 17th century Portuguese nun who is seduced by a Naval Officer.While waiting she walks around Lisbon, bumping into a boy,Vasco, and an impoverished aristocrat,Henrique,who she meets at a restaurant.He meets her again and confesses she has prevented him from committing suicide.Vasco is on the street and not at school and this makes her curious to meet his mother.His real mother committed suicide and a family friend,Madalena,decided to look after him,but she already has 3 children and has to earn a living.She's thinking of getting him adopted.At a disco Julie tells a young man she believes him to be the reincarnation of the 16th century Portuguese king D.Sebastio,but ducks his advances with the promise of 3rd time lucky,if they meet again, he will be the love of her life.

On her walk around Lisbon Julie goes to a chapel where she sees a nun in prayer.She later has a significant dialogue with the nun about love and the way she seemed to mirror the life of the nun,and how being true to oneself made one truly alive.The film is shot with each person speaking directly into the camera as if the camera is the person they are speaking to.This is a slow,contemplative film which avoids speed or crowd scenes, although they a show people in a kind of disco dancing;or the camera crew are shown setting up a scene.Also Julie is seen getting a ride on a tram.But mainly the film concentrates on the walks of Julie.She sees her co-star ,Martin,off-camera,he is married but his relationship has lost its spark and so they agree to have sex and see each other when they get back to Paris.Julie attempts to call Paris where she knows a couple who may adopt him.However she is unable to contact them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Great if you like actors and actresses staring straight at camera for...
Very odd movie..

Best watched on x120 speed.. This allows you to note the staggering amount of time that the doe eyed actress is required to stare straight into the... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Mr. H. M. Jenkins
1.0 out of 5 stars It you HAVE to watch it, fast forward to the disco scene and leave it...
I cannot believe this film has been so well reviewed. It has to be one of the worst films I've ever seen - it'snot even worth saying anymore about it.
Published 1 month ago by mary o' neill
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow, slow, slow
I can't understand how this movie could receive any award... It is slow, pretends to be very "deep" , the dialogues are full of clichés... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sylvia Steiner
4.0 out of 5 stars visual fado
As previous reviews make clear, you either go with it or not. I have a very high tolerance for challenging cinema but even I thought at first, this is a daft French graduation... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lee Scoresby
1.0 out of 5 stars Guardian readers beware !
Although the choice of locations strive to provide some visual stimulation, that is where any semblance of filmmaking ends. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Robby
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent filming, music, acting and story line - original
A great watch, especially as I had recently visited Lisbon.A clever and original story line that was easy to follow, yet challenging and with some excellent filming to make it even... Read more
Published on 28 May 2012 by C. M. Spain
5.0 out of 5 stars Unadulterated poetry
Thanks to Amazon UK for pointing out that this item may not be in stock again [what an unfortunate decision...] which prompted me to order it from Amazon France. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by Y. Levy
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