12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A masterful mystery..."
Chilean-born screenwriter, producer, teacher and director Raúl Ruiz` 66th feature film which was written by Portuguese screenwriter Carlos Saboga, is an adaptation of a novel from 1854 by 19th century Portuguese writer Camilo Castello Branco (1825-1890). It premiered at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and is a France-Portugal co-production...
Published 18 months ago by Sindri
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The acting is very stylised. Not sure whether this is Portuguese acting or just the way it's been directed. An interesting experience.
Published 3 months ago by catwoman
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A masterful mystery...",
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)Chilean-born screenwriter, producer, teacher and director Raúl Ruiz` 66th feature film which was written by Portuguese screenwriter Carlos Saboga, is an adaptation of a novel from 1854 by 19th century Portuguese writer Camilo Castello Branco (1825-1890). It premiered at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and is a France-Portugal co-production which was shot on various locations in Portugal and produced by Portuguese producer Paulo Branco. It tells the story about Pedro da Silva, a fourteen-year old orphan who lives at a boarding school in Lisbon, Portugal which is run by Father Dinis during the Liberal Wars in the early 19th century. Pedro is searching for his origins and Father Dinis has managed to take his mind of his natural curiosity by having him focus on his studies, but one day after having received a visit by a countess named Angela de Lima who claims to be his mother, Father Dinis decides to help Pedro in his search for his identity.
Distinctly and subtly directed by Latin-American filmmaker Raúl Ruiz, this intricate and exquisite story which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a stately and memorable portrayal of an adolescent boy`s conflicting road towards discovering his true identity during the 19th century and the destinies of all the people who in one way or another were connected to his birth. While notable for it`s brilliant milieu depictions, production design and costume design by Portuguese production designer, art director and costume designer Isabel Branco, cinematography by Brazilian-born cinematographer André Szankowski and the cogent editing by Chilean screenwriter, film editor and director Valéria Sarmiento and film editor Carlos Madaleno, this somewhat surreal and romantic period drama which is driven by it`s voice-over narration, dialog, variegated characters and interrelated stories, depicts multiple studies of character and contains a remarkable score by Chilean-born composer Jorge Arrigada and Portuguese composer and professor of music Luís Freitas Branco (1890-1955).
This rhythmic, multifaceted, at times humorous and invariably moving epic about human suffering, human relations, identity, love and faith, depicts some intriguing studies of character and is an atmospheric and melodramatic tale which is impelled and reinforced by the compelling acting performances by Portuguese actor Adriano Luz, French actress Clotilde Hesme, Portuguese actress Maria Joáo Bastos, Portuguese actor and director José Afonso Pimentel and Portuguese actor Ricardo Pereira. An accomplished cinematic achievement and a masterful mystery which gained, among other awards, the Silver Seashell Award for Best Director Raúl Ruiz at the 58th San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2010 and the TFCA Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 15th Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2011.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sprawling Tale of Love, Intrigue, Betrayal and Nunneries!,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)This is a Portuguese film from director, Raul Ruiz that is basically a series of short stories that are all held together by a web of connections that some could see as contrived, but actually works, that is if you can stay with it. The reason I say that is this is in two parts and actually lasts 266 minutes long that is 4 and a half hours in old money and is on two discs, so does require commitment.
Spread over Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil we have an orphaned boy finding his way in the world, a benign and caring priest who has more than one past, a street thug turned entrepreneur with a penchant for the ladies. A lady scorned, and a lot of running off to join monasteries and nunneries, which seems like a bit of a cop out, but was quite popular in the day so I am told. We also have an evil count, a reformed roustabout and some rubbish duels. There is so much here and it is told at a leisurely pace, which will infuriate some viewers, as we can have a whole scene where very little happens but moves the plot on at a somewhat glacial pace. However, it actually works as the pacing makes you consider what is taking place on the screen and affords you the time to fully weigh up the importance to the players of what can be seen by a modern eye as a pretty minor issue, to say more would be a bit of a spoiler.
With a cast list of to many to mention, the one actor I thought was outstanding was Father Dinis played by Adriano Luz, but there is not one bad performance. Lovers of costume or period drama will appreciate the sumptuous sets and the slavish addiction to detail, which all adds to the authenticity of the film. I actually quite enjoyed it, but watched in one sitting which was a bit much, and there are a tad too many coincidences, a bit like a Dickens plot at times, but for all that this is still a compelling and quite impressive piece of cinema.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)The acting is very stylised. Not sure whether this is Portuguese acting or just the way it's been directed. An interesting experience.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technical information,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)This 3 disc US blu ray release of Mysteries of Lisbon, will play on a region B locked blu ray player.
The back of the box cover does state, that it has a french language option and Dolby Digital sound, but this is not the case.
Audio is 5.1 and 2.0 Portuguese DTS Master audio with English Subtitles.
Disc 3 is special features and presented in the blu ray format.
This set also includes a very nice booklet, with foreword from the director.
Overall plenty of value,- A great transfer of a wounderful film.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning and hypnotic masterpiece,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)This is one of the most stunning-looking films I have ever seen. A complex story, with lots of flashbacks and flash-forwards, and flashbacks-within-flashforwards (and other combinations), it would be difficult to summarise the plot (even to understand it fully). The two central characters are the boy Joao (age 14 at the start, but older and younger elsewhere in the film) and Father Dinis, who has gone through various incarnations and disguises during his life, as have one or two other characters. So don't worry too much about the plot (which in any event has been whittled down from a 6-hour TV version), just wallow in the sumptuous visuals, the lush music, the exquisite acting, and the hypnotic camerawork (long, long takes, with hardly any close-up). There is a third disc of extras, which I found disappointing in comparison.
The director Ruiz is best known for his Proust adaptation Time Regained, made in about 1999. Mysteries of Lisbon is a worthy successor.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, It's A Masterpiece,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)The best bit out of the commentary that comes with this film was a French film critic who said the director's previous 100 films (which included many experimental and short films as well as features) were preparation for this masterpiece. And then, not long afterward, he died. It's great cinema that shouldn't be missed, especially by those who enjoy the best costume dramas.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Long-Winded ....,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] (DVD)This series was enjoyable to watch overall and had fairly high production values. However, what was the editor thinking .... a couple of hours cut from the series would have improved things considerably. Others, of course, may disagree!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't expecting any answers or even a conclusion, by the end of an arduous film you do feel cheated,
This review is from: Mysteries of Lisbon [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)`Mysteries of Lisbon' is the story of fourteen-year old Pedro da Silva (Joćo Luís Arrais), an orphan who lives at a boarding school in Lisbon, Portugal in the early 19th century. The school is run by Father Dinis (Adriano Luz), who helps Pedro in his search for his origins.
Spread over Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil, the film shifts back and forth in time, toying with our need for explanations and clarification. Father Dinis reveals little by little to Pedro of his past, who soon becomes acquainted with his mother Āngela (Maria Joćo Bastos). He learns of her unhappy marriage to the Count of Santa Bárbara (Albano Jerónimo). In the second half of the film, Father Dinis reveals more of his own differing careers and pasts that preceded his priesthood.
`Mysteries of Lisbon' is a complex maze of stories, with a narrative that goes back and forth over some 50-odd years against a background of war and social intrigue. There seems to be at least five narrators, people keep changing their names and identities, over a daunting 4.5 hours of running time. The boundaries between the conscious and unconscious are key, but don't expect to understand this labyrinthian film. By the end, you are left wondering if Pedro's story was his own invention.
Sometimes you get lost in a film and enjoy the experience, `Mysteries of Lisbon' was not one of them. The Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz uses distancing techniques throughout the film, some characters are framed only in long shots almost all the time. We can't be sure exactly what they look like, which adds to the ambiguity. The first half of the film was fascinating, and it is a beautiful and unusually shot film. But it started to lose its power to intrigue you, the story becomes so unnecessarily complicated and implausible that you slowly lose the commitment to care about Joćo or anybody else. This is a film that dealt with identity, suffering, human relations, love and faith. I wasn't expecting any answers or even a conclusion from `Mysteries of Lisbon', but by the end of a very long and arduous film you did feel cheated.
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Mysteries of Lisbon [DVD] by Raul Ruiz (DVD - 2012)