Almodovar will be the talk of the summer...

Preview by Jack Foley

 

IT HAS been almost three years since director Pedro Almodovar’s last film, Todo sobre mi Madre (All About My Mother) swept all before it, taking the Prix a la Mise-en-Scene at Cannes, as well as the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

It is little wonder, then, that his latest - Hable Con Ella - is so highly anticipated and it is fair to say that the director does not disappoint.

Opening on August 23, Hable Con Ella is one of the most poignant, surreal and beautiful movies you are likely to see all year - and this isn’t even our official review!

It stars Darío Grandinetti and Javier Cámara as two men in love with women who are in comas and the friendship they subsequently develop.

For Grandinetti’s sensitive travel writer, it is Rosario Flores’s broken-hearted bullfighter, gorged while in the arena, that represents a frustrated love; while for mild-mannered nurse Cámara, it is Leonor Watling's beautiful dancer, Alicia, who represents an unrequited opportunity to end his long-term loneliness.

This being Almodovar, of course, the path to true love does not run smoothly and anyone seeking the perfect resolution is best advised to look elsewhere - the film constantly surprises, taking in Almodovar’s passion for exploring the relationship between men and women, both sexual and spiritual, while also exploring controversial subject matter such as rape.

Hable Con Ella should feature prominently among the end of year talking points, especially for the way in which it confronts its difficult subject matter, as well as the much-talked about (and truly inspired) silent-film-as-fantasy sequence. It is another classic from a director whose CV, thus far, is full of them.

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:

Hable Con Ella has yet to open in America and very few reviews have appeared, although Slant magazine says that it finds ‘Almodovar at his most soulful’. Referring to the director's ‘cinema of penetration’, the reviewer goes on to discuss the way in which the director throws unconsciousness into ‘our perceptions of rape via fetishes and modes of camp’, while also commenting on Almodovar’s fondness for exploring the ‘distance that separates men and women’.

It is praise indeed when the magazine concludes that ‘nothing here may be simple, yet Almodovar makes it all seem so effortless’.
Rich Cline, of Shadows on the Wall, goes a step further, describing it as ‘a beautiful, clever film, very well-played by the cast, but unexpectedly subdued in its style’. He goes on: "While the storyline still contains some real shocks, the film itself is mature and almost stately, lingering on the tenderness between the characters, the repeated image of a tear-stained cheek."

Expect these views to be echoed when the movie opens in the UK in August.

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