4 user 4 critic

The Uncertainty Principle (2002)

O Princípio da Incerteza (original title)
Having lost her place among the social elite, a widow remarries and starts a family.


Manoel de Oliveira
2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonor Baldaque Leonor Baldaque ... Camila
Leonor Silveira Leonor Silveira ... Vanessa
Isabel Ruth ... Celsa
Ricardo Trêpa ... José Feliciano, 'Touro Azul' / Fiscal
Ivo Canelas ... António Clara
Luís Miguel Cintra Luís Miguel Cintra ... Daniel Roper
José Manuel Mendes José Manuel Mendes ... Torcato Roper
Carmen Santos ... Joana
Cecília Guimarães Cecília Guimarães ... Rute
Júlia Buisel Júlia Buisel ... Aunt Tofi
Ângela Marques Ângela Marques ... Adoração
Diogo Dória Diogo Dória ... Policeman
António Fonseca ... Policeman
João Bénard da Costa João Bénard da Costa ... Mr. Ferreira (as Duarte de Almeida)
P. João Marques P. João Marques ... Priest
Learn more

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Having lost her place among the social elite, a widow remarries and starts a family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Two of the leads of the movie are grandchildren of the director/co-writer and the novelist whose book inspired the movie. Leonor Baldaque is the granddaughter of novelist Agustina Bessa-Luís, while Ricardo Trêpa is of Manoel de Oliveira. See more »


Followed by Magic Mirror (2005) See more »


24 caprici per violino, op. 1
Music by Niccolò Paganini (as Nicolo Paganini)
Performed by Shlomo Mintz
See more »

User Reviews

Quantum cinema
11 December 2008 | by daniel_cmsSee all my reviews

O Principio da Incerteza is a film that, probably, most people will not understand, nor appreciate. It is no more and no less then art, and, thus, it is no more, and no less, then life. To achieve a proper explanation of what this film is, or of what it is about, it would be necessary to understand the nature of cinema itself as form of art.

The plot is quite interesting, as it is also the idea contained by the film. In fact, in the beginning of the story we are given what seem to be very marked and strongly defined characters. For instance it is immediately noticeable the attempt to associate some characters with their contrasting personas – represented in the opposition between the two women, between the two men and between the housekeeper and the Mother of the family.

As the film progresses the behaviour of the characters seems to evolve, and at least apparently, in a contradictory manner. So, not only the "manichean" view of the characters that we are presented with in the beginning of the film is discarded later on, but also the personalities of the characters appears to suffer from some form of mutation that leads them closer to what was their opposite. With one exception though: Camile, the main character, and the only true archetype. Only one catch: such archetype is constructed from within that persona, which, naturally, not only makes it impossible for the other characters in the film to understand her, but it also implies that solely by intuition, and not by a classical logic construction, we can catch a glimpse of her nature.

"O Principio da Incerteza", or "the uncertainty principle" is actually a cinematic representation of Werner Heisenberg's quantum physic's principle: The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known.

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France | Portugal



Release Date:

11 September 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bijou de famille See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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