An Oliveira that can already be called classic. The film is imperturbable in its approach to eternal themes such as religion, death and what comes afterwards. A stern meditation in measured shots and rounded sentences. De Oliveira maintains, all on his own it seems, contact between the cinema and the richest and deepest parts of European thought. This earns him the honorary title Philosophicus Cinematographicus. De Oliveira likes working with the same actors, as in this case with Leonor Silveira who plays Alfreda and Ricardo Trepa, the film maker's grandson, in the role of Luciano. Alfreda is a rich woman with a grand wish: she wants to see the Virgin Mary in a vision. Luciano is a poor agnostic who has just been released from jail. Yet it is precisely Luciano who is to accompany Alfreda on her spiritual journey. The story is based on a book by the Portuguese writer Agustina Bessa-Luis. De Oliveira has often based his films on her work in the past. It started with the beautiful Francisca and also resulted in the classic O Convento. And the inspiration has proven mutual: on a number of occasions, the film came before the book. Literary cinema in the best sense of the word. (GjZ)

Original title
Espelho Mágico
Filmmaker
Manoel de Oliveira
Country
Portugal
Year
2005
Medium
35mm
Length
137’
Language
Portuguese
Producer
Filbox produçoes Audiovisuais, LDA, Miguel Cadilhe
Sales
First Hand Films
Writer
Manoel de Oliveira, based on a novel by Agustina Bessa-Luis
Cinematography
Renato Berta
Editor
Valérie Loiseleux
Production Design
Monica Baldaque
Sound Design
Henri Maikoff
Cast
Leonor Silveira, Michel Piccoli, Marisa Paredes