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Night Train to Lisbon (Lisbon ni Sasowarete)
Rating
Director Bille August
Language English
Opens Sept. 13

What does a man do when he wants to make a clean break? Hop on a train to Lisbon. That’s what Swiss professor Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons) does during “Night Train to Lisbon.” One minute he’s walking the chilly streets of Bern, Switzerland, and the next he’s boarding the train for Portugal.

Raimund, a self-described “boring old man,” is out to embrace change and discovery, inspired by a novel by Portuguese revolutionary Amadeu de Prado (played by Jack Huston) about the 1970s resistance movement against dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

Once in Lisbon, Raimund unearths the past and meets the people the novel was based on, played by some of Europe’s finest actors, including Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin and Tom Courtenay. The film zigzags back and forth between past and present, matching up the incidents recounted by the surviving revolutionaries with what happened when they were young. The timeline, however, is a little choppy and the narrative feels like a series of vignettes instead of one coherent story. Still, there are plenty of evocative moments, and the “boring” Raimund turns out to be a force of quiet charisma.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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