• Release Date: Dec 10, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. It's a great film that, sadly, may be ignored by all but the most dedicated, knowledgable filmgoers.
  2. A thoughtful, provocative effort that makes up for its narrative failings with its astute philosophical musings.
  3. As a nonagenarian, de Oliveira is the world's oldest working filmmaker, and still one of the best. This is a lovely, lively, timely treat for the eyes and mind.
  4. 75
    Moves along its tranquil way until about five minutes before the closing credits, when it turns into a terrorist thriller.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    A potent and troubling meditation on the state of Western society.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    This intermittently interesting symbolic tour through European history once again places ideas over aesthetics and technique.
  7. In both its intellectual reach and the elegant simplicity of its form, A Talking Picture bears resemblance to Andrei Sokurov's "Russian Ark."
  8. 80
    De Oliveira wraps A Talking Picture with a simultaneous introduction and farewell--a bold curtain-dropper that's either a bleak joke or an imprecisely controlled scream of rage.
  9. An honest title for a film that is almost entirely conversation. Yet its rich contemplative tone proves deceptive, for its director, Portugal's preeminent filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, at 96, still knows how to pack a wallop.
  10. Initially this seems naive and archaic, but it conceals a Buñuelian stinger in its tail.
  11. 70
    Still astonishingly vital at 96, the Portuguese maestro Manoel de Oliveira here takes a becalmed trip through stormy waters.
  12. 60
    As a political statement it is either a cry of despair or a grim acknowledgment that in the endless cycles of history, civilization will always have its saboteurs.
  13. This is full of talk in the European art cinema tradition: intellectual conversations (often in multiple languages at once), gentile dinner conversation with an international all-star guest list.
  14. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    A film destined to divide Manoel de Oliveira's fans but also to win him new ones, A Talking Picture is his simplest, most linear story in memory.

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