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This Pedro Almodovar melodrama examines how several lives are changed by a single gunshot. Adapting the novel Live Flesh by British mystery author Ruth Rendell, Almodovar has given the material a Spanish makeover with added political thrust. Beginning in 1970 in Franco's Madrid, when a prostitute (Penelope Cruz) gives birth to a son, Victor, the story leaps forward to contemporary Madrid. Wealthy diplomat's daughter Elena (Francesca Neri) is watching Luis Buñuel's, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de La Cruz (1955) while waiting for the arrival of her heroin dealer, and she buzzes Victor (Liberto Rabal) (with whom she made a date, then forgot about him) into the building. In the confusion that follows, two cops, David (Javier Bardem) and Sancho (Jose Sancho) arrive, and a gun goes off. The story then makes another leap to four years later: Victor is in prison, while Elena, no longer on drugs, runs a disadvantaged children's shelter and is married to wheelchair-bound David. After his release, Victor visits his mother's grave and spots David and Elena at the cemetery -- where David meets philandering wife Clara (Angela Molina). Fate interweaves the tangled interrelationships of all into a complex tapestry of destiny and guilt. Shown at 1997 London and New York film festivals.
I've been gradually working my way through older films featuring Javier Bardem once I discovered that he had a very successful career in Spanish films before he ever made his way... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jill Clardy
Huge fan of Javier Bardem because of this film. This introduced me to foreign films. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants an introduction to foreign films. Read morePublished 20 months ago by prroots
best movie from the almodovar collection i believe. the actors are spot on in their roles. it keeps you laughing outloud! Read morePublished on December 17, 2010 by William Parrish
A maturing Almodovar in a less absurd - if still melodramatic - mode than his early films. This time the tone is more film noir/mystery/character study. Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by K. Gordon
I really don't know how so many people love this film. I just watched it and it is by far Almodovar's worst film. Read morePublished on April 16, 2008 by R. Derieux
i haven't watched the film yet but it seems to be in great shape -- thank you!Published on July 26, 2007 by Anonymous
British crime writer Ruth Rendell gets credit for the original story of this film. But it's hard to picture the kind of darkly original psychological study that director Pedro... Read morePublished on January 18, 2007 by Ronald Scheer
What's special about Almodovar films is that he is able to explore the naked-ness of humanity creating this "Othello"-esque scenario wherein people are exposed as people -- human... Read morePublished on March 3, 2006 by Jenny J.J.I.
Besides just simple good film-making, I've figured out WHY European dramatic cinema is better than that found in the U.S. Read morePublished on July 14, 2004 by J. Colburn