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Abraham's Valley (1993)

Cast: Leonor Silveira, Leonor Silveira, Luis Miguel Cintra, more...
Director: Manoel De Oliveira, Manoel De Oliveira
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Vanguard Cinema
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Portugal
Running Time: 187 min.
Languages: Portuguese
Subtitles: English
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In this artful film by 85-year old director Manoel de Oliveira, the heroine, instead of being powerless in the face of a world ruled by men, finds herself to be far too powerful. Beginning when she was a child, Ema (Leonor Silveira as an adult) had the kind of looks and manner that could stop cars when she came up to a street -- or cause accidents. As time goes by, she explores her power over men and, as a mature woman, chooses to marry a man who has virtually no machismo so that she can continue having affairs and exploring this mysterious ability of hers. Eventually she seeks to transcend her unusual limitation and accomplishes her death with astonishing serenity. This haunting story is based on a novel by Agustina Bessa-Luis. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

the medium is a mess, the music is beautiful by dpowers April 12, 2003 - 3:56 AM PDT
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
the publisher of the DVD made a production choice that may wreck this movie for you. the image is stretched vertically, so that widescreen material takes up the full screen, and everything and everybody is twice as tall and twice as thin as they should be.

once i figured out how to fix the aspect ratio, the photography and decoration of the movie rewarded my work: rapturous and simple, evoking both the empty grace of the places and the sensual aestheticism of the characters.

the film is such an invigorating and thoughtful study of chamber music and of 19th-century storytelling, madame bovary in particular, that if you can fix the vertical problem, either with your player or by messing with the vertical controls on your TV, i think you might like to see how well this parlor trick of earthy, aristocratic domesticity is performed.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.12)
8 Votes
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