This sweet, charming film brings Lisbon and its dreamers to life. For me, it also has the charm of being based on a short story by my favorite Portuguese writer, Eça de Queiroz. The movie is available through Netflix. Here’s the review from London’s Guardian:
An extended anecdote by 101-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira. It’s creaky but charming, says Steve Rose.
It is not possible to assess this film without mentioning the fact that it is the work of 101-year-old Portuguese auteur Manoel de Oliveira. If it was the debut of a young film-maker, it would never be getting a release; it’s not even feature-length. Taken as an extended anecdote, though, this creaky tale of masculine obsession is not without its charms – in a Luis Buñuel-on-anti-depressants sort of way. The creakiness is, at least, deliberate. It is adapted from a story by 19th-century writer Eça de Queiroz, but set in the present day.
A young man working for his uncle becomes entranced by the titular beauty, who seductively fans herself at the window opposite his Lisbon office. But the course of his infatuation is barred by concerns about his financial position, and the consent of his uncle. There are few dramatic peaks or troughs along the way, but the ending comes like a sharp punchline – a warning, or perhaps a reassurance, that even when you get to the age of 100, life is no less mysterious.
For the original report go to http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/aug/05/eccentricities-of-a-blonde-haired-girl-review