Night Train to Lisbon
Director: Bille August
Writer: Greg Latter, Ulrich Herrmann
Based on: Pascal Mercier‘s novel Nachtzug nach Lissabon
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Lena Olin, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling
Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is a teacher who leads a rather lonely life. But it takes a sudden turn, when he keeps a young woman from comitting suicide who leaves her coat with him. Inside that coat he finds a book and train tickets to Lisbon. The book resonates with him, so on a whim he boards the train to find the author of the book. But instead of finding the author, he finds a whole story of love and betrayal during António de Oliveira Salazar‘s dictatorship.
There is only word I can use to describe Night Train to Lisbon: boring. It was so boring, I fell asleep for half an hour during the film. And despite cutting the movie short that way, it was still way too long.
Maybe I should stop watching movies for the cast. I mean, yes, Martina Gedeck is awesome. Charlotte Rampling is awesome. Mélanie Laurent is awesome. But when all the women in a film have nothing to do but further the men’s stories, the best actresses are just squandered. That’s exactly what happened here.
And the story just wasn’t interesting. I mean, I don’t know a thing about Salazar and I appreciate any info I got about this part of Portugal’s history, but since the movie makes you fall asleep instead of taking in any information, it fails on that account, too.
I haven’t read the book but after sharing my impression of the movie with both my mom and my sister, both said that they weren’t surprised at all because the book was just as boring. My mom called it “old man’s ramblings” and that just about sums the film up perfectly as well.
Maybe you have to be an old(er) man to appreciate the story and Raimund’s angst. But since I’m not, I was just left flabbergasted and pretty annoyed by everything revolving around him, every door opening for him and the utter Raimundcenteredness of it all.
Summarising: yeah, no.