"Talk to Her"
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
Written by Pedro Almodóvar.
Starring Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti and Leonor
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 1/12/03
Congratulations to the greatest flag
football team in the history of the Capital Alumni Network, THE
University of Virginia Cavaliers, coached by Gordon “The
Professional” Stokes. By running the table (14-0) and beating a
hapless Arizona State team in the final, Stokes has cemented his
status as the Greatest Coach in CAN History Not Named Justin Bell.
Hehehe...seriously, congrats to all of the members of the UVA squad,
and to the rest of you CAN members...suck it!
Pedro Almodovar’s latest film, “Talk to
Her”, made me think mid-film why we don’t celebrate the guy more
than we do. Probably because he is a foreigner. But, if you go
back and look and some of his last, oh, five films—including the
Oscar winning film
“All About My Mother”—he just hasn’t made a bad
film in the last 15 years of his work.
And, although he typically has some more
sexual stuff going on in his films, “Talk to Her” is a drama that
stays mostly away from the bedroom to give us the tale of four
people connected by tragedy at a hospital somewhere in Spain.
There’s Benigno (Javier Camara), a lonely male nurse that lusts
after Alicia (Leonor Watling), a woman in a four-year coma when the
film opens. There’s Lydia (Rosario Flores), a champion bullfighter
that falls for a writer named Marco (Dario Grandinetti), who meets
Lydia to try and write a profile of her for his country’s national
newspaper. Over the course of the next 12 months, a pretty
interesting set of circumstances bring the four of them together,
and as one pratfall after another strikes the principal characters,
we learn what the value of communication is for all of us when time
Almodovar gets very impassioned performances
from all of his characters, especially his male leads this time
around; after spending damned near all of “All About My Mother” with
the fairer sex, it is cool to see a change of pace go so
effortlessly for the director. Grandinetti’s character goes through
the biggest progression in the film and he has eyes that just make
you sad every time you see them. Much like Eminem in
“8 Mile”, Grandinetti is just very watchable here, whether he is relating with
his lover or pleading with officials to do the right thing late in
the film. Flores is as hard-edged as Watling is beautiful, and they
make for an incredible set of contrasting romantic leads.
The beautiful shots here in “Talk to Her”
accentuate an impressive Spanish production and the mix of static
overhead shots, smooth dolly progressions and sharp close-ups keep
the characters looking fresh for the whole film, and a good score
help round off the great production values of the flick. However,
there are some slow spots just after the halfway point that had me
periodically near dozing off; there is just a period where not too
much happens and the film could have used a jolt. That jolt DOES
come (in a scene that is an early front-runner for Holy Shit Scene
of the Year, a scene I will just refer to now as “The Midget
Muffdive”), but the pacing of “Talk to Her” could have used a little
Otherwise, this is a solid film and will
assuredly be nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar when the time
comes. Check, check, check it out!
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard