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The Ornithologist demands patient viewing from an audience attuned to symbolic pleasures -- and rewards the investment with an unusual tale of self-discovery.
All Critics (57)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (50)
| Rotten (7)
The Ornithologist is highly diverting and seductive, a pastoral of sorts, and a secular meditation on faith and acceptance, very loosely derived from the life of St Anthony of Padua.
Call it an exercise in staring at a screen for two hours that couldn't have ended soon enough.
If nothing else, will have the adventurous viewer considering a nature trip to Portugal.
If nothing else, the film reminds one of how strange and beautiful existence can be.
"The Ornithologist" is both an opaque narrative and a deeply inviting one.
There's always something to ponder with this film, which gets stranger and more polarizing as it goes along.
A pleasure to watch, but audiences are unlikely to emerge from the cinema feeling like they "got" it.
It's a pretentious piece of film-making too confused to make any sense out of its metaphors. It fails on every level except as a sleep aid.
The fun of watching the film is in trying to decipher the meanings behind each episode, which is probably easier for Christians well-educated in saint hagiography and their religion's vast network of symbolism.
A strange religious parable that is far closer to the stuff of nightmares than anything remotely holy.
An unabashedly surreal exploration of backwoods mysticism and religious fanaticism... The Ornithologist proves why Rodrigues is one of the world's most daring filmmakers.
[Director] João Pedro Rodrigues mixes several aspects that interest him... and builds such an excessively personal and capricious film that is distant. [Full review in Spanish]
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