After its selection in the official competition in Venice, where it was acclaimed by a long standing ovation, today is the day of the press and industry screening of The Domain at the TIFF-Toronto International Film Festival. The official exhibition will happen next Tuesday, on the 10th of September, in the Special Presentation section, the most important program of the TIFF. The Domain is the first Portuguese movie to be featured in this section.
Rare are the films that « double » in such events : Venice Competition, followed by the TIFF Special Presentation.
We keep on sharing some of the numerous and international reactions to the film, from USA to Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece and Iran. The Jury of Idependent Critics rewarded The Domain with The Bisato d'Oro Award for the Best Director, for Tiago Guedes.
« An epic candidate for the Golden Lion: the director Tiago Guedes shows in Venice the decline of a Portuguese dynasty, led by men. [...] [Albano] Jerónimo's focused acting shines among the arrogance of [Marlon] Brando and the brutal contention of Alain Delon. [...] It's a revelation. »
« Running as deep and slow as the Tagus [...] Tiago Guedes’s The Domain is an almost three-hour-long Portuguese family saga that builds through dramatic peaks and troughs to a remarkable portrait of a patriarchal fiefdom gradually being eaten away from both outside and in. [...]Guedes’ film builds authority and power, thanks also to Albano Jeronimo’s magnetic presence as a handsome, disdainful estate owner with a superiority complex but also a fierce attachment to his land. [...] it’s exactly this domineering male myth that the film will gradually pull apart. It does so partly through The Domain’s other standout performance, that of Sandra Faleiro as Joao’s wife Leonor. Guedes’ direction is measured and controlled throughout, and technical contributions are impressive in everything from Roberto Perpignani’s slow, rhythmic edit to the film’s costumes and lighting – the latter brilliantly in evidence in a sequence near the end in which Joao retreats further and further into the shadows to become a black silhouette outlined by the first light of dawn. »
Lee Marshall, Screen Internacional (4 stars)
« A convincing and involving result, with remote reminiscences of Giant or some of Anthony Mann's westerns […] One great title of this Competition. (…) it's extraordinary to see Tiago Guede's film in its exponentional duration of 164 minutes, in one setting, submerged in the immensity of the nature, silent and wonderful, suspended in the fluctuation of time, attached to a progressist and atypic « padrone » of the past century. Behind the music, always very subtle, is the hand of the great Arvo Pärt »
Davide Turrini, Il Fatto Quotidiano
« One of the better examples of the illustration of the family theme in the Venice Festival Competition is The Domain by Portuguese director Tiago Guedes. Also, in this case the contemporary questions blend into the internal subjects of the displayed family. […] Initially, Tiago Guedes focuses on the main character, João, and gradually will reveal the relations of power, personal constellations and complications of this family, along with his own court in the carousel of figures around him. And shows how the desire to perpetuate a dynasty, like a bourgeois form of aristocracy, comes to an end when there is no one left in the family to believe in this empire. »
Tim Caspar Boehme, Taz.de
« A huge film, The Domain is an ambicous artwork, in which the great land where the events happen work as a metaphor of what happens with the protagonist : initially powerfull and imposing, with time he will suffer the winds of change, confronting dynamics that will profundly change his nature. With a simple wet eficient style, Guedes offers us an interessesting analysis of the history of his country, putting the Carnation revolution as a central moment. A stimulating film, that gives the spectator some sequences of high level : among them, the incipit and the wedding party of the protagonist sister in law, that shows the talent of its author »
Andrea Chimento, Il Sole 24 Ore
« With an explosive ending (…) I wouldn't be surprised if it won at least one of the great prizes [at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival »
“Guedes (“Noise”) points to Westerns and some melodramas like Vincente Minnelli’s “Home From the Hill” as major influences, which demonstrably act as templates with added political overtones. [...] João Lança Morais’s cinematography has an undeniable formal beauty, and the sensitivity to nature, with the soundtrack almost more reliant on gentle winds rather than the music of Arvo Pärt, Zeca Afonso and Charles Ives, is a standout feature that fits with a story centered on a working estate south of the Tagus River. »
Jay Weissberg, Variety