I'm Going Home

I'm Going Home


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Boredom is like anorexia. It destroys the will to live.

Manoel de Oliveira, the Portuguese director, now in his nineties, has made a film about an old actor (Michel Piccoli), who suffers a traumatic loss, recovers, continues working until he walks off the set of Ulysses, being shot in English with an American director (John Malkovich), and "goes home".

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De Oliveria prefers a static camera. The actor leaves his room to take a phone calls downstairs. The camera remains in the room. You see the open door, the stairs and hear in the distance snatches of a conversation. In another scene, the actor is talking with his agent at a table in a cafe. The camera studies the old man's shoes throughout. Is de Oliveira making a statement about the futility of verbal intercourse, or the expressive language of feet?

Paris at night is photographed with cryptic honesty. It could be a documentary on bars and their influence on the French tradition. It could be nothing of the sort.

The actor suffers from loneliness - he sleeps a lot - and intimations of mortality. He lives with his grandson and a housekeeper. He loves his grandson, or so he says, but doesn't talk to him.

Piccoli is not anorexic and could never be boring. There's always a first time.

Reviewed on: 22 May 2002
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Michel Piccoli plays a famous actor, who suffers a personal tragedy and loses his confidence.
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Director: Manoel de Oliveira

Writer: Manoel de Oliveira

Starring: Michel Piccoli, Antoine Chappey, John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Leonor Baldaque, Leonor Silveira

Year: 2001

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: France/Portugal


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