The Portuguese Nun

Dates and Venue 16 - 20 December 2010 | Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver

A Religiosa Portuguesa (Portugal/France 2009). Director: Eugène Green
Cast: Leonor Baldaque, Francisco Mozos, Ana Moreira, Adrien Michaux, Beatriz Batarda, Diogo Dória

Reviewer Ed Farolan

New York native Eugène Green, comes up with an enigmatic film about a young, rootless French actress arriving in Lisbon to shoot a film based on the 17th-century novel Letters of a Portuguese Nun. She plays the nun, and as she wanders the unfamiliar streets, she is moved by the sounds of fado music, and becomes preoccupied with a young nun she observes praying in a small church.

She meets a young boy who is to be put to an orphanage, but after meeting the nun, she idntifies with her and learns the true meaning of love. This selfless love controls her, and she decides to adopt him. An enigma I still can't seem to decipher is the man who plays D. Sebastiao, and in her second enounter with him, says that destiny will make them one if she encounters him for the thid time.

Green’s approavh is complex and unconventional, but his cinematography is fantastic and clear-cut. His dialogues are strange, with actors gazing directly into the camera. His takes are long, with slow, deliberate pans of his camera. These long takes, I feel, should have been edited some more, as some are exceedingly long.

However, this was a beautifully and brilliantly executed film, and I would give it 9 out of 10.

© 2010 Ed Farolan