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Tabu

Tabu

2012
Drama
1h 58m
Aurora, an elderly Portugese woman and her Cap Verdean housekeeper live next door to Pilar, who has made it her aim in life to do good. Not that she receives any gratitude for her efforts - and certainly not from the notoriously mistrustful Aurora, who prefers to spend her remaining years losing her meagre savings at Estoril casino. When the old lady dies, Pilar discovers among her belongings a letter addressed to an old lover. (mubi.com)
Your probable score
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Tabu

2012
Drama
1h 58m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 67.77% from 422 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(422)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 25 Nov 2013
84
75th
Very good. The way the film plays against itself with a radical narrative break halfway through offers a stark contrast between contemporary, post-colonial existence on the one hand, and mid-twentieth century colonialism on the other. Even if the characters don't see it (though Pilar might), the film's portrayal of the past, complete with moral failings and crocodiles, presents a colonial vision that revels in pleasures as it ignores responsibility.
Rated 19 Jan 2013
7
57th
A dreamlike lyricism fuels the film's central relationship, yet too much of its underlying depth is spoon-fed rather than implied through overbearing narration. While I admire Gomes for using an unfamiliar approach in telling a familiar story, I wish it'd elicited more of a reaction.
Rated 13 May 2013
88
83rd
A beautiful film. If the first half seems meandering and frankly pointless (although watchable because of the gorgeous cinematography), it all clicks together with the second half. I'd never heard of Miguel Gomes before and now I'm curious what his next move will be.
Rated 29 Dec 2012
83
89th
Gomes' striking imagery hits the mark with an incredibly free structure -- a psychological drama about an old lady plus a love story told in a silent way that reveals her past -- and bright observations about how cinema, or the best cinema, is a media that lies and tells the truth, forge amazing stories and also give shape to our most vivid and faintest memories.
Rated 23 Mar 2013
70
75th
The final shot of the film is a "pastoral" pan across a field full of toiling native African workers, during which the voiceover references a "monumental crime" - ironically, referring to the white protagonists' forbidden love affair rather than colonialism. Tabu has been accused of an uncritical if not pining portrayal of colonial Africa. That said, it is still one of the most free-thinking and artistically interesting films of its year. Gomes is putting Portuguese cinema on the map.
Rated 09 Jan 2013
90
90th
The first act of the movie is engaging but the second act where the storytelling shifts to a narration + pantomime with no dialogue is amazing. Beautiful, but sad.
Rated 17 Sep 2013
55
53rd
Formally original exploration of memory, regret and cinema, but, for this viewer, the story was less interesting, seeming sort of like material from a short story that didn’t quite justify a two-hour film, despite the inventive exposition. The piano composition played by Joana Sá at the beginning and over the final credits is the highlight, and rather reminiscent in parts of one of David Shire’s pieces for THE CONVERSATION (1974).
Rated 11 May 2013
7
94th
comprehensively examines how personal, cultural and cinematic histories are conflated, distorted and illuminated by memory and the act of recounting it. a heartache of a film which slowly grows more and more poignant as you come to notice the echoes, allusions, jokes and wider implications embedded in its gorgeous aesthetic & ingenious structure. not to mention, it appropriates BE MY BABY as a recurring motif in the most spinetingling ways imaginible, which should be enough for anybody's vote.
Rated 05 Jan 2024
51
11th
Didn't get this one at all. It's competently made, but I feel like the second half is done just about the worst way possible. I think going full silent (plus sound effects) as an homage to 1931's Tabu could have been fun and interesting, or just playing it straight would have been fine, but going silent while having the most boring possible extended monotone voiceover narrating a relatively mundane story was just a terrible choice that mostly ruins the film.
Rated 26 Apr 2014
70
54th
Lyrical and intriguingly stylized, Tabu offers many cinematic pleasures. But it doesn't quite come together into a more meaningful whole as the film's subtler elements is drowned out by the persistent narration and its consuming focus on the doomed love affair.
Rated 01 Feb 2016
84
20th
Shot in black and white, Tabu unfolds in two parts: First, we meet an elderly Portguese woman with dementia and her kindly neighbor. Later, we see the same woman as a 30-year-old, living at an African outpost with her husband. It was initially interesting, but the spell wore off for me by the 2/3 mark and I tuned out.
Rated 15 Oct 2017
73
78th
(Viewed in 2013): Tabu is a unique exploration of time, memory and cinema shot in luminous black and white that's divided neatly into two distinct parts.Gomes handles the temporal and stylistic shifts well, with the gloominess of the present giving way to a recounted memory of an erotic fling on exotic land problematized by colonialist activity. It's an interesting narrative experiment, but it falls short of greatness due to overlength and Gomes' awkward intellectual distance from the material.
Rated 27 Apr 2013
85
92nd
Kişisel bir hikayenin, tarihsel olaylara evrilmesiyle gerçekleşen, iki bölümün birbirine bağlanışı muazzam. Son zamanlarda, ortaya çıkan, içi sinemayla dolu filmlerin en iyilerinden biri kesinlikle. Tabu gibi filmler sinemaya olan inancımı tazeliyor. Çok iyi!
Rated 14 Jun 2012
98
96th
It has nothing in common with The Artist! The only sad and melancholic character in this film is a crocodile and I assure you his acting is way better than any Uggie-esque or Valentin-esque show. Thumbs up, Miguel Gomes!
Rated 14 Jul 2018
84
75th
Em honra de Laura Soveral (1933 - 2018) Português adora o passado colonialista, né? Enfim, a narração da segunda parte do filme é absolutamente brilhante, belíssimo filme. BlurayRip no MakingOff.
Rated 26 Aug 2020
87
92nd
Super pure and sensative, full of surprises
Rated 27 Apr 2023
66
72nd
Distinguished & Significant!!!
Rated 20 Oct 2014
76
47th
The stylistic and tonal inconsistencies don't work for me, but the second half does have some lyrical beauty that makes it worth a look.
Rated 02 Jan 2013
85
90th
wow
Rated 15 Jan 2015
63
61st
Feels like a sort of post-Weerasethakul take on Claire Denis territory, or something? I can definitely see why it was a big festival hit, in any case. It didn't exactly blow me away, but i'm probably underrating it a bit, especially the second half (which i would have probably been more into if i hadn't already sort of tuned out attention-wise during the slow protracted first section).
Rated 21 Feb 2013
95
95th
20 Subat 2013, ifistanbul, bade ile & kisisel bir tarihin, toplumsal bir tarihe donusmesi, hafiza ve yansittiklari hakkinda cok degerli bir film. Bir narration harikasi.
Rated 03 May 2013
7
73rd
A familiar story of forbidden and destructive love but told in an interesting and original way. Beautifully filmed. There is much to dissect thematically here but it can drag at times.
Rated 02 Jul 2014
4
52nd
i thought the decision to remove all spoken dialogue during the man's recollection, leaving only tinkling background noises, was absolutely brilliant. it's a shame then that the couple's story was really quite uninteresting, and its ideas of romance are rather windswept, if not idealistic, which become all the more questionable when set against a background of colonialism. the piano theme was beautiful; the use of song, not so much.
Rated 02 Jul 2016
8
80th
Contrary to what others have said, this film is deeply critical of its colonial backdrop. The colony is shown to be a place where people can escape reality, easily reinvent themselves, have BBQs, drink beer, hunt, and, if they were so inclined, engage in tragic affairs. This all happens in a very self-contained bubble, and the "monumental crime" of the affair is clearly ironic. In a specific scene, there are intense eyes of judgment; and I'm inclined to think those eyes represent something more.
Rated 18 Feb 2016
16
89th
Star Rating: ★★★★1/2
Rated 26 Mar 2014
84
89th
A remarkable tale, and an overlooked gem.
Rated 18 Feb 2013
79
66th
A surprising film with some beautiful moments. While the first half seemed slow, mundane and fairly irrelevant, the second half exploded with a childlike, exotic romanticism, which managed to more or less justify the prior elaborate framing device. This mixture of joyous mystical filmmaking and traditional narrative is unusual but thematically rich, and can teach us a lot about Portuguese colonial history. The only point I could have against it would be some subplots of questionable usefulness.
Rated 26 Apr 2017
85
85th
A dreamlike story, staccato in nature, is formed with some absolutely incredible cinematography. Seriously, some of the shots have breathtaking composition. It also keeps you guessing right to the very end. Superb.
Rated 09 Jan 2013
93
86th
Lyrical visual and auditory treatment of a conventional melodrama with just enough small oddities and just enough historical contexts of Portuguese culture and the end of its empire.

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