The Invisible Life

The Invisible Life

Vítor Gonçalves (2013)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Returning to directing for the first time since making a favourable impression with A Girl In Summer (1986) and Midnight (1988), Portuguese director Vitor Gonçalves pays tribute to mentor Antonio Reis with this occasionally gauche and frustratingly obscure exercise in slow cinema. A civil servant (Filipo Duarte) is so moved by the death of his boss (João Perry) that he seeks to understand the significance of a bequeathed reel of Super 8 film. But, such is the wilful nature of the non-storytelling that it's difficult to know whether Duarte's encounters with an old flame (Maria João Pinho) and an enigmatic Pedro Lamares are memories or imagination. Gonçalves is seemingly intent on invoking a puzzle picture like Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad (1961) for a teasing treatise on love, loss, isolation and seizing the moment. But, while images of Lisbon's Commerce Square are evocative, British artist Julie Brook's 8mm interludes are perplexing. Some may find all this too mannered and theatrical to intrigue, or engage, but a bit of background reading will reward those prepared to find the subtextual meaning.


After the death of his boss and mentor, a middle-aged public servant falls prey to depression, but the arrival of an old flame offers him a chance to turn his life around. Portuguese drama, starring Filipe Duarte, Joao Perry and Maria Joao Pinho.

Cast & Crew

Hugo Filipe Duarte
António João Perry
Adriana Maria João Pinho
Sandro Pedro Lamares
Paula Susana Arrais
Director Vítor Gonçalves
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Independent Cinema OfficeReleased on: 17 Apr 2015