The Strange Case of Angelica

  (Redirected from O Estranho Caso de Angélica)

The Strange Case of Angelica (Portuguese: O Estranho Caso de Angélica) is a 2010 Portuguese drama film directed by Manoel de Oliveira. It was entered into the Un Certain Regard section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[1] De Oliveira conceived the idea for the film in 1946 and initially wrote the script in 1952, updating it with modern elements.[2]

The Strange Case of Angelica
The Strange Case of Angelica.jpg
Film poster
Directed byManoel de Oliveira
Produced byJacques Arhex
Written byManoel de Oliveira
StarringPilar López de Ayala
CinematographySabine Lancelin
Edited byValérie Loiseleux
Release date
  • 13 May 2010 (2010-05-13)
Running time
97 minutes


In Portugal, in the years 2000, Isaac, a young Sefardic photographer rents an apartment in a modest pension of Senhora Justina, in Peso da Régua. On a rainy night, he is suddenly woken up to help a wealthy family in a extraordinary task: to take the last portrait of their daughter, Angélica, a young woman who has died soon after her own wedding. Upon his arrival to Quinta das Portas, Isaac encounters a family in mourning for the young woman. In one of the chambers, the photographer discovers Angélica and is dazzled by her beauty. In the moment when the view through the lens becomes focused, Angélica seems bringing back to life specially for him. For a few seconds, she gives a wink and smiles.

The next day, the photographer returns to the activity that brought him to the Douro region and goes out to document the old methods of working in the vineyards, with special attention to the so-called "earth diggers". But Isaac cannot forget the image of Angelica and feels magically haunted by the young woman. He lives in pursuit of the enchanting power of the successive apparitions of Angélica's ghost, which leave him deeply in love. Gradually, the photographer becomes exhausted and more and more distances himself from the environment that surrounds him and from life and social routine, until he ends up succumbing without apparent explanation.



Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York named The Strange Case of Angelica the sixth-best film of 2010, calling it "the greatest man-falls-in-love-with-a-ghost story ever directed by a 101-year-old."[3]

In France, Cahiers du Cinéma listed it as the second-best film of 2011.[4] Cahiers later named The Strange Case of Angelica the tenth-best film of the 2010s.[5]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Strange Case of Angelica". Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  2. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (13 May 2010). "The Strange Case of Manoel de Oliveira, still making films at 101". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  3. ^ Uhlich, Keith (21 December 2010). "Best (and Worst) of 2010". Time Out New York. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Top Ten 2011, Décembre 2011 n°673". Cahiers du cinema.
  5. ^ Cahiers du Cinéma [@cahierscinema] (6 December 2019). "Le Top 10 2010-2019 des Cahiers du Cinéma" (Tweet). Retrieved 17 June 2020 – via Twitter.

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