Talk to Her

( 5 )

Overview

Pedro Almodóvar follows his international success All About My Mother with an offbeat drama that explores the friendship of two men brought together under unusual but strangely similar circumstances. Benigno Javier Camára is a male nurse whose apartment overlooks a dance studio run by Katerina Geraldine Chaplin; he often sits on his balcony and watches one of Katerina's students, Alicia Leonor Watling, and he finds himself becoming infatuated with her. When Alicia is severely injured in an auto accident that ...
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Overview

Pedro Almodóvar follows his international success All About My Mother with an offbeat drama that explores the friendship of two men brought together under unusual but strangely similar circumstances. Benigno Javier Camára is a male nurse whose apartment overlooks a dance studio run by Katerina Geraldine Chaplin; he often sits on his balcony and watches one of Katerina's students, Alicia Leonor Watling, and he finds himself becoming infatuated with her. When Alicia is severely injured in an auto accident that leaves her in a coma, Benigno discovers she has been admitted to the hospital where he works, and he spends his days caring for a woman he now deeply loves but has barely met. Marco Darío Grandinetti is a journalist who was assigned to interview Lydia Rosario Flores, a well-known female bullfighter whose on-the-rocks romance with another toreador, "El Niño de Valencia" Adolfo Fernández, has made her the focus of the tabloid press. During Marco's interview with Lydia, he goes out of his way to treat her kindly, and she appears to return his attention. During the bullfight which follows, Lydia is gored by the bull, and is now in a coma; Marco is certain his interview broke her steely concentration, and he spends most of his days at the hospital, convinced her injuries are his fault. Alicia and Lydia are both housed in the same ward of the same hospital, and in time Benigno and Marco become close friends, bonding in their shared devotion to women who cannot return their affection.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Two comatose women become the center of an unusual meditation on love and obsession in Talk to Her, the Academy Award-winning film from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. When a female bullfighter Rosario Flores ends up in a coma after being gored, she is hospitalized next to a comatose dancer Leonor Watling. This leads to an odd friendship between the bullfighter's frequently visiting boyfriend Darió Grandinetti and an introverted man Javier Cámara who functions as the dancer's caretaker. The fluid narrative uses flashbacks to reveal the dynamics of the pre-coma relationships, and it is here that the story becomes pure Almodóvar. The dancer's naive, childlike caretaker turns out to have been stalking her for quite some time. His obsession is portrayed as being strangely benign, but it's the hook that brings up some unusual issues about love and relationships, marked by the director's typical offbeat insights into sexuality. There are unpredictable turns into uncharted psychological territory, including an outrageously fetishistic silent-movie lampoon that explores the bizarre sexual possibilities in an incredible-shrinking-man scenario. That the screenplay, written in Spanish, took home an Oscar speaks volumes about the story's universal emotional allure. The dance pieces, choreographed by Pina Bausch, and an al fresco nightclub performance by Caetano Veloso only push the film closer to the sublime.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
As a filmmaker who has built a career out of creating stellar roles for actresses, director Pedro Almodóvar has taken on some bold challenges for Talk to Her. A bizarre love story of a technically nonexistent relationship, it doesn't allow for easy spiritual redemption. Simple melodramatic terms are avoided when the central female characters are rendered unresponsive but ever-present. One of them, Lydia (Rosario Flores), is even positioned in horrifying bullfighting scenes that capture all the gruesome sadness and reality of the ultramasculine sport. When the would-be leading ladies drop out into comas, the two men are forced to deal with all the messy and troubling aspects of relationships -- or lack thereof. Acting as the film's anchor, the balding and muscular Marco (Dario Grandinetti) cries intermittently throughout the film, a small detail that seems almost revolutionary in this context. With a bravery and steadfast kindness, he forges a friendship with the deeply troubled Benigno (Javier Camara) whose mental illness leads the film into several dark places, including a wildly cinematic fantasy construction of sexual exploration. By contrast, the freshly lit scenes of tenderness with crisp white cotton garments belie the destructiveness Benigno is capable of. However disturbing the situation eventually becomes, these scenes speak volumes about the power of devotion as a motivator. Several side characters provide a background for the themes dealt with in the central narrative -- that of the power of faith to renew and transform. But like many human relationships, the result isn't clearly defined, leaving a confusing mess of conflicting emotions. Also, like the film's many well-staged modern dance sequences, the power lies in the constant interplay of reasoning between logic and belief. Ambiguity is one of the film's best assets, leaving the viewer with plenty of moral space for existential questioning.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers

The actors are outstanding, illuminating four different views of loneliness. But it's Camara's tour-de-force performance that anchors the film, that shocks and unnerves us.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
When it's over, the realization of how much the movie means to you really sinks in; you can't get it out of your heart.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Like taking a drug everyone says is dynamite and impatiently wondering why the heck it's not kicking in. The kick in fact turns out to be real, and as powerful as advertised, but it doesn't necessarily hit you in any way you anticipated.


The actors are outstanding, illuminating four different views of loneliness. But it's Camara's tour-de-force performance that anchors the film, that shocks and unnerves us.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/27/2003
  • UPC: 043396089150
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Javier Camára Benigno
Darío Grandinetti Marco
Leonor Watling Alicia
Rosario Flores Lydia
Geraldine Chaplin Katerina
Roberto Alvarez , Doctor
Elena Anaya Ángela
Chus Lampreave , Concierge
Loles Leon
Fele Martínez , Alfredo
Paz Vega , Amparo
Technical Credits
Pedro Almodóvar Director, Screenwriter
Javier Aguirresarobe Cinematographer
Agustín Almodóvar Producer
Alberto Iglesias Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent

    Excellent Wit. An hypnotizing beautifully written and shot tale. Almadovar displays his ingenious wit Characteristic of novelist John Irving especially in 'The World According to Garp' If you don't know spanish then you haven't seen this film because the world of meaning and depth inherent in this film does not translate well into english. and in its original spanish title 'hable con ella' its symbolism is truly realized. a Truly great film and part of film history

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Perverse and Shallow

    Pedro Almodóvar's movie about the twists and turns of the human psyche and the complexities of intimacy. Although the film is well directed, the film is plagued by a perverse and shallow theme. In addition to being somewhat predictable, the movie comes out as nothing more than vulgar cinema attempting to make the grotesque appear acceptable if not noble. Almodovar tries to make the demented and perverse character of Benigno (Javier Camara)appear sympathetic: a fallen hero. Unfortunately, Benigno's actions can only be seen as criminal and perverted. Benigno's character is beyond redemption and Almodovar's attempts in portraying him in a favorable light are utter failures. Trying to present Benigno as a fallen hero because his crime, by chance, allows Marco (Dario Grandinetti)to find his true love is but a failed attempt. One cannot justify the most vile criminal acts by the positive outcome of chance and mere coincidence. The movie's suggestions as to how the twists of fate could justify criminal conduct as sick as raping a helpless comatose patient is utterly naive, perverse, and grotesque. This film is nothing more than shock-value trash trying to appear novel and creative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful Film!

    This was one of the most wonderful films I have ever seen. I have recently become interested in Spanish cinema, especially, Almoldovar, and this is the best of cinema - Spanish or not. The story is artfully told and moves fluidly; you are instantly taken in. I recommend this film to all who love the medium.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Magnificent!!!!

    Great Acting!!! Great Story!!! Brilliant Movie!!! There are no adjectives good enough to attach to this. This movie is one of the best I've seen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews