The Mystery Of Oberwald

  • 1981
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau, who adapted his own play for the screen. For ten years the Queen (Monica Vitti) has mourned the politically motivated assassination of her noble husband on their wedding day. While in self-imposed...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau, who adapted his own play for the screen. For ten years the Queen (Monica Vitti) has mourned the politically motivated assassination of her noble husband on their wedding day. While in self-imposed exile at Oberwald Castle, the reclusive Queen must contend with the machinations of her mother-in-law, the Duchess, who's dispatched one of her ladies in waiting, Edith de Berg (Elisabetta Pozzi), to spy on her. Adding to the Queen's concern about long-distance concerns about intrigue at the court, she gets wind of rumors that there's a revolutionary assassin lurking the nearby woods. The Queen also resists the entreaties of the Count of Foehn (Paolo Bonacelli) to reassure her subjects by making a public appearance; she suspects that neither the Duchess nor the Count nor Edith de Berg has the best interests of her kingdom at heart. When Sebastian (Franco Branciaroli), the assassin, appears in her chamber, the Queen is struck by his resemblance to the late King. As unlikely as it seems, the Queen and her would-be killer find themselves falling in love. Sebastian engages her in enchanting political discourse and she concocts a plan to pass him off as a new servant. While the Count and Edith circle like vultures, the Queen is so revitalized by her young lover's fervor that she considers resuming her rightful place at court. Less precious than Cocteau's own film of L'Aigle a Deux Tetes (made for French television in 1975), Antonioni's gripping version breathes vivid life into what could be a claustrophobic costume drama — particularly through his stunning use of color dissolves — and allows the characters' emotions to burst through the walls of their prison-like palace.

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  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau, who adapted his own play for the screen. For ten years the Queen (Monica Vitti) has mourned the… (more)

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