Friday, September 14, 2007

Goya’s Ghosts

Extremely well done up to the last detail period drama that is not necessarily an historic or biopic drama, as yes Goya is here but is another character along with Brother Lorenzo and Ines/Alicia, which you can say are the lead characters in this strange story that starts in late 1790’s in the times of the Inquisition, moves forward 15 years into the French invasion, followed by the British liberation of Spain.

As a period drama is quite impressive for the cinematography, scenarios, costumes and the light they use; as a story is entertaining, not that special and definitively forgettable. But the power of images makes some scenes unforgettable, as they seem so truthful and accurate depiction of a very obscure period of Spain’s history.

Directed by Milos Forman and starring Spaniard Javier Bardem as Brother Lorenzo, Swedish Stellan Skarsgård as Goya and in a dual role American Natalie Portman as Ines, the mother and Alicia the daughter, the movie is spectacular but not as complete as previous Forman films like Amadeus or One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest and the main weakness is the story, not the three actors performances that I found outstanding for Javier Bardem and acceptable for Stellan Skarsgård and Natalie Portman. If you found her character in V for Vengeance physically abused, here her character had to endure worst physical abuse as she ends up in jail too, but in an era of torture, dark alleys and total abandon of prisoners.

Still, even if the story is weak, the movie not only is entertaining but also is visually stunning with some scenes that look like paintings, not necessarily from Goya. The movie was not a success in America, but in Europe had above average earnings and had 3 nominations in the 2007 Goya Awards.

So, I think that this movie is not for all audiences but those that enjoy epic period dramas will for sure enjoy the images of what it seems like a true depiction of an historic era.

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