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Mal Review

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Marital crisis gives way to a battle againsty addiction in a depressing slcie of life drama.

★★★★

It's hard to see how this relentlessly morose slice of Lisbon life could have been deemed worthy of a release. Only a performance of excruciating honesty from Pauline Cadell shines out from the gloom, as each soap operatic episode leads to an apocalyptic conclusion that's almost ludicrous in its contrivance.

Even then, it's hard to become involved in her marital crisis (with Morrison's diseased serial adulterer) or her bid to rescue a homeless teen (Pinto) from his heroin addiction. The reliance of his mother on a religious cult and the search of an old man for his missing granddaughter confirm the old maxim that life is nasty, brutish and short.

While Seixas Santos (who devotes most of his energies to narrative deconstruction) succeeds in proving the world's a wicked place, he fails to make us care.