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|Stellan Skarsgård||Francisco Goya|
|Randy Quaid||King Carlos IV|
|José Luis Gómez||Tomás Bilbatúa|
|Michel Lonsdale||Inquisitor General|
|Mabel Rivera||Maria Isabel Bilbatua|
|Blanca Portillo||Queen María Luisa|
|Milos Forman||Director, Screenwriter|
|Varhan O. Bauer||Score Composer|
|Yvonne Blake||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Patrizia Von Brandenstein||Production Designer|
|José Nieto||Score Composer|
|Paul Zaentz||Executive Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
Milos Forman has a gift for combining fine art subject matter in period pieces that are not only entertaining but also educating. In GOYA'S GHOSTS he not only explores the multifaceted aspects of the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya as a painter of court portraits as well as canvases of dramatic collisions between the factions of people versus military cruelty of 18th and 19th century Spain, but he also dissects the infamous Spanish Inquisition, not only by defining characters who represented the Holy Office and the victims of the 'purging' but also by subtly remarking on the tenor of the times by focusing on Goya's 80 etchings titled 'Los Caprichos'. This is a richly realized film that captures the horror of the times while it offers insights into the changes that occurred in Spain in a rather comprehensive fashion. 1792 and while Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård) is painting portraits of the royal family (Randy Quaid and Blanca Portillo) as well as portraits of his favorite model Inés (Natalie Portman) and of the Inquisition activist Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem). Corruption abounds in Spain and the fear of the Inquisition headed by Father Gregorio (Michael Lonsdale) penetrates all of society. When Inés is called before the Inquisition because she doesn't like the taste of pork offered at a public banquet, she is tortured for not confessing to be a Jewess and imprisoned. Despite the pleadings of Goya and the money offered by her family (Brother Lorenzo is asked to intervene on her behalf), Inés remains in prison for 15 years and when Brother Lorenzo visits her he impregnates her and the resulting girl child is sold upon her birth). France invades Spain (courtesy of Napoleon Bonaparte) and when the French Revolution begins to spread through Europe the chastised Brother Lorenzo travels to France where he assumes a new life away from the church. During the trauma of these years Goya loses his hearing and in response to the disintegration of society, creates the Caprichos - etchings that stress the brutality and madness to which the country has succumbed. Lorenzo returns to Spain, the prisoners of the Inquisition are freed, and Inés (now pitifully ugly) searches for her daughter, confronting Lorenzo with the paternity. How all of the pieces of the Caprichos come to life brings an end to the story fills the final moments of this fine period piece. Javier Bardem is particularly strong in his role of the mutating Lorenzo and Stellan Skarsgård makes Goya an understandable genius. In addition to the named cast there are excellent cameo roles for such fine actors as Unax Ugalde, Wael Al Moubayed (Goya's interpreter), José Luis Gómez and Mabel Rivera among others. The cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe captures the flavor of the period and the musical score by Varhan Bauer and José Nieto quotes some 20th century compositions (Shostakovich) and blends Spanish court and dance themes into a rich musical tapestry. This is a fine film despite the lack of critical acceptance and certainly deserves a large audience, especially those who appreciate historical drama. Grady Harp
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Posted October 1, 2010
An outstanding film that traces portions of Goya's life, from his loss of hearing to his painting of the royalty of the day and the interplay of personalities therein. It builds around historical incidents such as the Inquisition as its main theme, and provides a superb platform for some great acting by Oscar winner Javier Bardem. He dons religious garb to achieve his purposes, be they sensual and earthy or monetary, and easily doffs such garb to further his success in other endeavors. For art and history buffs it is a bonanza of visual information to relish. The occupation of Spain by the French, later invasion by the British, and the subsequent adjustments of society provide the scenario for a great film..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Portman does a fine portrayal in different phases of the character's aging. Bardem delivers a fine performance. The title's use of the word "Ghosts" left me quite confused - never did see how this applied within the picture's framework.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2011
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