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Goya's Ghosts

3.9 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r) nominees Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem star in two-time Academy Award(r) winning director Milos Forman's thrilling new romantic drama! Goya's Ghosts is a sweeping historical epic, told through the eyes of celebrated Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgard). Set against the backdrop of political turmoil at the end of the Spanish Inquisition and start of the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's army, the film captures the essence and beauty of Goya's work which is best known for both the colorful depictions of the royal court and its people, and his grim depictions of the brutality of war and life in 18th century Spain. When Goya's beautiful muse (Portman) is accused of being a heretic, renowned painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgard) must convince his old friend Lorenzo (Bardem), a power-hungry monk and leader of the Spanish Inquisition, to spare her life.

Special Features

  • A “Making of” Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Randy Quaid
  • Directors: Milos Forman
  • Producers: Saul Zaentz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00116GEJ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,030 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Goya's Ghosts" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lennon Aldort on February 2, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1975 Milos Forman made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. In 1984 he brought us Amadeus, winner of 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Now, 23 years later, he brings us Goya's Ghosts, a brand new epic masterpiece on par with his previous critically acclaimed Academy Award winners.

The only difference is, Goya's Ghosts not only didn't get a single Oscar nomination, but it was slammed and hated by most critics. I'll make this part of my review short and simply say that this film must be so brilliant that it went right over the critics heads. The script is complicated, and the meaning of the title has been misinterpreted by almost everyone i've talked to about it.

Now, for the film itself. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Do not believe any of the negative reviews from the critics. This film is a masterpiece in every way. Music, acting, cinematography, script, everything. It's a breathtaking period drama that grips you from the first frame to the last and leaves you barely able to wrap your mind around just how perfect and brilliant it was. This is not a film to miss. It has taken the spot of #3 in my top 10 films of all time, #2 and #1 being One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. At the request of the first person who commented on my review, I've edited my review here to say that Milos Forman could testify to the fact that i'm not related to him or to anyone involved in the creation or publicity of any of his films.

I'm not going to go into any plot details about the film. I'll simply say once more that it is possibly the greatest artistic achievement ever executed in the world of cinema. Buy the DVD when it's released. You won't regret it. Thank you Milos Forman!
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Format: DVD
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).
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It seems that I had been waiting a long time to see Goya's Ghosts. I first heard about the film sometime in 2005. And I remember when they were filming it in Madrid. The subject matter was of great interest to me. It was being directed by Milos Forman and the screenplay was co-written by Forman and Jean Claude Carriere. And it starred Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard. What could be better?

But the film had trouble finding a US distributor. In the meantime, it was released around Europe to dismal reviews. Earlier this year the film was picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films and it was released here in July to the same type of reviews. But guess what? I saw the film when it was released and I thought that it was terrific.

The first part of the film takes place in 1792. The Inquisition is being reinstated. It is spearheaded by a fanatic monk named Lorenzo (Bardem). Lorenzo talks out of both sides of his mouth. He is having his portrait painted by the well known artist Francisco Goya (Skarsgard) but when he sees that the Church doesn't approve of Goya's work he makes the suggestion that Spain go back to its old, repressive ways.

A young woman named Ines (Portman), who is one of Goya's models, is accused of heresy because she doesn't want to eat pork. She is tortured into a false confession and left in the dungeons to rot. Goya asks for Lorenzo's help and Lorenzo visits her. Lorenzo and Ines pray together but he also rapes her. And Lorenzo is invited to the home of Ines' parents. He is put to the "question" by Ines' father Tomas (Jose Luis Gomez) and fails. He is eventually driven out of Spain.

We fast forward to fifteen years later. There is chaos on the streets of Madrid.
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