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With: Chiara Mastroianni, Pedro Abrunhosa, Antoine Chappey, Leonor Silveira, Fran�oise Fabian, Maria João Pires
Written by: Manoel de Oliveira, Jacques Parsi, based on a novel by Madame de La Fayette
Directed by: Manoel de Oliveira
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French, Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time: 107
Date: 03/19/2013

The Letter (1999)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

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By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The great 91 year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira returns to the festival with The Letter, an adaptation of a 300 year-old novel set in modern-day France. Chiara Mastroianni (Marcello's daughter) stars as a lovely French woman who marries a doctor and then falls in love with a Portuguese pop star (played by Portuguese pop star Pedro Abrunhosa) but never cheats. As usual, Oliveira exerts a masterly control over his pacing and compositions, juxtaposing wild emotions with still surfaces, and still keeps the movie breezy by explaining away huge chunks of the novel during intertitles. It's a brilliant work.

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