Chilean director Raoul Ruiz’s very long film Marcel Proust’s Time Regained (1999) was something of a dry run for this even-longer adaptation of Camilo Castelo Branco’s 19th-century novel. Yes, Mysteries of Lisbon is four hours long (and then some). But this rich, Dickensian costume drama doesn’t drag or disappoint—in fact, it’s engrossing. The film spans three decades, features dozens of characters, and moves between Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France as it unwinds its eponymous mysteries (which might just as easily have been written by Hugo, Borges, or Alexandre Dumas). Don’t think of it as a long foreign movie; think of it as one of the best miniseries in recent memory. (Out this week on DVD.)
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