Gebo and the Shadow

Watch Gebo and the Shadow

  • NR
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.4  (691)
  • 71

Gebo and the Shadow is a gripping drama released in 2012, directed by Manoel de Oliveira. The film features a stellar cast including Michael Lonsdale, Claudia Cardinale, and Jeanne Moreau. It tells the story of an impoverished family and their struggles to survive in a rapidly changing world. The story unfolds in a desolate town during a winter season, where Gebo (Michael Lonsdale), a retired accountant, lives with his wife Doroteia (Claudia Cardinale) and their daughter in-law Sofia (Leonor Silveira). The family has not heard from their son João (Ricardo Trêpa) for several years, who went away to seek a living in Brazil.

Gebo has been too kind and too naive, which has caused him to get into financial issues with his former boss, a wealthy merchant, and debtor (Jeanne Moreau). Gebo has been covering up for his former boss and it has put him in debt. She appears at his doorstep one evening, requesting Gebo's help to convince his son João to return home to clear his debts. Meanwhile, Sofia is suspicious about her husband's whereabouts and fears that he might have gotten involved in some evil activity to earn money.

The film is a poignant portrayal of the human condition, as the characters face internal conflicts that mirror the difficulties of their external lives. There’s a deep sense of melancholy that permeates the movie, as Gebo struggles to hold onto his moral principles while facing the harsh realities of life.

The film's underlying theme is the changing nature of society and how it affects people's relationships. At the heart of the movie is Gebo's dilemma between loyalty and betrayal, and his need to come to terms with the damage caused by his naivete. The movie is an exploration of the cost of coming to terms with the passage of time, and the price of holding onto ideals in an increasingly corrupted world.

Michael Lonsdale's performance as Gebo is a standout. He portrays the character's struggle with dignity and grace, and his performance is deeply moving. Claudia Cardinale brings a sense of gravitas to the role of Doroteia, Gebo's wife, as she tries to hold onto stability in the midst of chaos. Jeanne Moreau, as the wealthy debtor, is suitably imperious, and her performance is a reminder of her many talents as an actress.

The movie’s visual composition is stark and minimalistic. The wintry landscape perfectly captures the desolate state of the characters’ emotional lives, and the shadowy lighting conveys a sense of foreboding. The film’s pacing is deliberate, and there is a tension building throughout the movie. The director has masterfully integrated elements of surrealism and magical realism into the story, which add layers of depth to the narrative.

In conclusion, Gebo and the Shadow is a beautifully made psychological drama that explores the complexities of human relationships in a rapidly changing world. Director Manoel de Oliveira has created a haunting, melancholic and thought-provoking work of art, and his use of a talented cast elevates the story to new heights. The movie is a slow-burn, but ultimately a deeply rewarding experience for those who appreciate cinema that embraces subtlety, nuance, and emotion.

Gebo and the Shadow is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 71.

Gebo and the Shadow
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (691)
  • Metascore