Manoel de Oliveira is no stranger to the Croisette. Since his first visit in 1981 for Francisca, presented in the parallel selection, the Portuguese director has made the trip to Cannes up to fifteen times. In 1999, he was awarded the Jury Prize (Prix du Jury) for The Letter (A Carta) and in 2008, actor Michel Piccoli presented him with a lifetime achievement Palme d’Or before a wildly enthusiastic audience.
O Estranho caso de Angélica provided another occasion for Manoel de Oliveira to team up with his grandson, actor Ricardo Trêpa, with whom he has already worked eighteen times. Ricardo Trêpa plays the role of Isaac, a young photographer in the city of Régua. One day, a family calls Isaac to take the last portrait of their daughter Angélica, a young bride who has just passed away. The young man is dumbfounded by the quiet beauty of Angélica’s body and when he looks at her through the lens of his camera, she seems to come back to life just for him. The photographer instantly falls in love with her.
Manoel de Oliveira changes track here from the literary adaptations that have made his reputation. The project, which has been in the works for over half a century, is based on an original script written by the film-maker in 1952, now adapted to the present day.