The new film from mast filmmaker is a magical tale of a young photographer who falls madly in love with a woman he can never have, except in his dreams. Late one night, Isaac is summoned by a wealthy family to take the last photograph of a young bride, Angelica, who mysteriously passed away. Arriving at their estate, Isaac is struck by Angelica's beauty. But when he looks through his lens, they young woman appears to come to life. From the moment, Isaac will be haunted by Angelica day and night.
The most recent offering from one hundred and two year old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira The Strange Case of Angelica (Portuguese title O estranho caso de Angelica) would more accurately be called the Strange Case of Isaac the Photographer, who finds himself brought into a quiet house of mourning to photograph a newly wed and newly deceased bride, Angelica.
Yet despite her dead state Isaac, played by Manoel favourite Richardo Trepa finds that through the viewfinder of his camera Angelica can open her eyes and smile at him. Convinced that Angelica is alive within his photos Isaac becomes even more introverted and reclusive than previously and finds himself pondering the meaning of life and love and religion as he waits for his photos to develop.
The movie is strangely surrealist, including somewhat off beat animations of the dead Angelica and black and white dream sequences and fantasies of Isaacs in which Angelica lives. Yet the movie still presides on the comical and enigmatic side of realism as Isaac fights to ascertain his sanity. Manoel effortlessly paints this sweet and endearing and funny-in-places picture of a family in sorrow and shock with a tasteful and almost cheeky brush.