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Talk to Her.

A film by Pedro Almodovar Language: In Spanish with English subtitles Release date: November 22, 2002

Following his well-received All About My Mother, the 2000 winner of the Best Foreign Language Academy Award, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar returns with the disappointing and somewhat predictable Hable con Ella (Talk to Her). In Almodovar's fifteenth feature since 1980, he not only has two comatose female leads and the sympathetic depiction of a rapist, but an odd, silent film-within-the-film entitled The Diminishing Lover,

Talk centers around two men, Benigno and Marco, and the female loves with whom they are incapable or unwilling to communicate. Time is elastic, as are points of view and events that shift constantly.

Spanish sitcom star Javier Camara is Benigno, a male nurse caring for the comatose ballerina, Alicia, played by Leonor Wading. From the living room window of his mother's apartment, he watched her as a student in the dance studio run by teacher Katarina (Geraldine Chaplin). When Alicia suffers a near fatal car accident. Benigno--whom she met once on the street--becomes her personal hospital nurse for the next four years.

His counterpart and eventual ally is travel writer Marco, the brooding Argentine actor Dario Grandinetti. The two meet when Marco's love, a female bullfighter savagely gored in the ring, lapses into a coma and is admitted to the same hospital floor as Alicia. Spanish singer Rosario Flutes is the bullfighter, Lydia, torn between Marco and her former lover.

Despite the striking cinematography and intriguing exploration of communication and loneliness among lovers, the film's two-dimensional female roles and cliched plot twists make it easy to dismiss.

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Publication:Latino Leaders
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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