Nonagenarian Portuguese director Manoel De Oliveira here delivers an elliptical study of loss and mortality, focusing on acclaimed Parisian actor Gilbert Valence (Michel Piccoli).
After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, the ageing thespian finds solace in returning to the stage to play Prospero - - and in such ordinary activities as buying a pair of brogues, having coffee in his favourite café or playing a video-game with his grandson. Then he gets offered a film role as Buck Mulligan in an adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses, and unexpected difficulties arise.
A spare and often oblique film, I'm Going Home is lent a certain crossover appeal by the fact that Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich crop up in supporting roles. But it's Piccoli's affectingly understated central performance that really impresses, the great French actor perfectly capturing the dignity of a man who's gracefully adjusting to his own decline.
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