×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Night Train to Lisbon

Though not quite a train wreck (the tech package is pedestrian rather than bad), Bille August's "Night Train to Lisbon" feels like a relic of the good ol' Europudding days.

With:
With: Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent, Jack Huston, Martina Gedeck, Tom Courtenay, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin, Christopher Lee, Charlotte Rampling, Beatriz Batarda, Burghart Klaussner, Adriano Luz, Sarah Spale-Buehlmann. (English dialogue)

Though not quite a train wreck (the tech package is pedestrian rather than bad), Bille August’s “Night Train to Lisbon” feels like a relic of the good ol’ Europudding days. Oscillating between unimaginative and tedious, with far too many actors phoning it in, this German-Swiss-produced, English-language adaptation of Helvetian philosopher-author Pascal Mercier’s bestseller, about a dreary Bern professor investigating a love triangle in Salazar-era Portugal, at times feels like a filmed conference call. Small-change Euro theatrical releases will precede a high-speed connection to the discount bins.

A professor of Swiss and (incongruously) Anglophone classics, Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons), who confesses even he thinks he’s boring, prevents a woman (Sarah Spale-Buehlmann) from jumping off a bridge. A book in her pocket leads to the Lisbon home of Adriana (Charlotte Rampling), who’s Ken-doll-handsome brother, novelist-doctor Amadeu (Jack Huston, in flashbacks), was involved in undermining Salazar’s regime with his best friend (August Diehl), until a smart beauty (Melanie Laurent) came between them. Waffly rather than talky and entirely devoid of tension, the pic makes the Portuguese Resistance look about as dangerous as eating a pastel de nata.

Popular on Variety

Night Train to Lisbon

Germany-Switzerland

Production: A Concorde Filmverleih (in Germany)/Frenetic Films (in Switzerland) release of a Studio Hamburg Filmproduktion, C-Films presentation and production, in association with Cinemate, C-Films Deutschland, TMG Tele Muenchen Group, SRF, Teleclub, with the participation of ZDF, K5 Film. (International sales: K5 Media Group, Munich.) Produced by Guenther Russ, Kerstin Ramcke, Peter Reichenbach. Executive producers, Oliver Simon, Daniel Baur, Eric Fischer, Kevin Frakes. Co-producers, Benjamin Seikel, Ana Costa, Paulo Trancoso, Herbert Kloiber. Directed by Bille August. Screenplay, Gregg Latter, Ulrich Herrman, based on the novel by Pascal Mercier.

Crew: Camera (color), Filip Zumbrunn; editor, Hansjoerg Weissbrich; music, Annette Focks; production designer, Augusto Mayer; costume designer, Monika Jacobs; sound (Dolby Digital), Rainer Heesch; associate producers, Michael Lehmann, Michael Steiger; casting, Jeremy Zimmermann. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (noncompeting), Feb. 12, 2013. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: With: Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent, Jack Huston, Martina Gedeck, Tom Courtenay, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin, Christopher Lee, Charlotte Rampling, Beatriz Batarda, Burghart Klaussner, Adriano Luz, Sarah Spale-Buehlmann. (English dialogue)

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content