Journey To The Beginning Of The World review

Let's get straight to the point: this is probably the most sleep-inducing film you'll ever have the misfortune to watch. The Franco/Portuguese production follows a Gallic actor (Gautier) who, accompanied by his director (Mastroianni) and two fellow thespians, embarks on a journey to his late father's village. During the trip the director reminisces about his childhood days in Portugal. Very little else takes place.

In an entirely unengaging picture, director Manoel De Oliveira's point-the-camera-at-the-actors-and-let-'em-talk technique registers the film as nothing more than a bank statement, blandly documenting uninteresting observations and tedious, unoriginal life-talk.

Yes, there may be plenty of pretty scenery, and Mastroianni is convincing enough, but this will hardly stop the audience wishing the world were flat and that this dull `journey' would tumble over the edge, never to claim a theatrical release.

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