The Portuguese Nun (A Religiosa Portuguesa)
The Portuguese Nun (A Religiosa Portuguesa) (2009)

Filmmaker Eugene Green pays homage to Manoel de Oliveira, a Portuguese director whose had a profound influence on his style, with this drama of a woman eager for a new lease on life. Julie (Leonor Baldaque) is a French actress who is still… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times

It's a droll, tongue-in-cheek exchange in a film that's well aware of its own unconventional appeal to high-minded cinephiles.

Full review…
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice

The result is like nothing else playing, which makes it the best movie in town almost by default.

Full review…
Philip French

A solemn, portentous affair, dramatically, verbally and visually, where everyone talks in an uninflected manner.

Full review…
V.A. Musetto
New York Post

The real star is director Eugene Green's quirky style: enigmatic dialogue, lengthy tracks and pans, actors speaking directly to the camera, shots of feet set against the cobblestone streets and picture-postcard-perfect vistas of the city.

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Superior, elegant, distinctive, formalistic, unconventional art film.

Full review…
Tom Dawson
Total Film

Despite the distancing preciousness, there are compensations in the beautiful Lisbon vistas, fado music and unexpectedly moving resolution.

Full review…
A.O. Scott
New York Times

Mr. Green is fascinated by the possibility that the collision of eros and religion suggested by his literary source might have some resonance in the present, and he explores it in a way that is both cerebral and sensual.

Alistair Harkness

Baldaque is called upon to spend most of the film wandering the city having enigmatic encounters with her co-star, an orphan boy and a real Portuguese nun. Epiphanies duly follow. As does boredom.

Full review…
Anton Bitel
Eye for Film

all these alienation effects, fictive tricks and metacinematic games, right down to the reflexivity of the film-within-a-film, in the end serve less to distance The Portuguese Nun than to ally it to a sort of metaphysical quest

Full review…