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A scene from Gebo and the Shadow.

2 out of 4 stars

Gebo and the Shadow
Directed by
Manoel de Oliveira
Michael Lonsdale, Jeanne Moreau, Claudia Cardinale

Centenarian Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, who can lay claim to be the world's oldest working cinéaste, returns to TIFF with a film that is really a play. Adapted from a 1923 drama by the Portuguese writer Raul Brandao but translated into French, Gebo and the Shadow is filmed as theatre, in the claustrophobic space of Gebo's modest house where the aging accountant lives with his wife, daughter-in-law and the secret of his long-absent son. Only Michael Lonsdale as Gebo can carry the highly theatrical language; otherwise, the depressive dialogue often feels false and the stasis overwrought. Jeanne Moreau appears as a gossipy neighbour and Claudia Cardinale plays Gebo's delusional wife.

Sept. 14, 2:15 p.m. Cineplex 6; Sept. 16, 9:15 p.m. Scotiabank 11

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