• Release Date: Dec 10, 2004
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Initially this seems naive and archaic, but it conceals a Buñuelian stinger in its tail.
  2. It's a great film that, sadly, may be ignored by all but the most dedicated, knowledgable filmgoers.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 75
    Moves along its tranquil way until about five minutes before the closing credits, when it turns into a terrorist thriller.
  7. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    75
    A potent and troubling meditation on the state of Western society.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. A thoughtful, provocative effort that makes up for its narrative failings with its astute philosophical musings.
  11. In both its intellectual reach and the elegant simplicity of its form, A Talking Picture bears resemblance to Andrei Sokurov's "Russian Ark."
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    40
    This intermittently interesting symbolic tour through European history once again places ideas over aesthetics and technique.
  13. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    70
    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.
  14. 70
    Still astonishingly vital at 96, the Portuguese maestro Manoel de Oliveira here takes a becalmed trip through stormy waters.

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