Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Adapted from author Agustina Bessa-Luis' novel The Soul of the Righ, writer/director Manoel de Oliveira's Magic Mirror travels deep into the restless psyche of a well-to-do woman who longs to experience a divine vision. Previously imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Luciano (Ricardo Trepa) emerges into the real world in desperate need of a sense of direction. Luciano is haunted by the death of his sister Camila, though he does his best to stay distracted from family ghosts by going to work at the manor house of malcontent rich woman Alfreda (Leonor Silveira). Married to the much older Bahia (Duarte de Almeida), Alfreda has no children and spends much of her time discussing religious issues with eccentric Bible scholar Herschel (Michel Piccoli). When man-in-waiting Luciano fails to convince Alfreda that her fixation on the Virgin Mary is merely a delusion brought about by mental malaise, he subsequently hires local girl Filipe (Luis Miguel Cintra) to pose as the Madonna as part of an elaborate, but obscure, ruse.