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Adrien Brody and Penélope Cruz star as legendary Spanish matador Manolete and his
hot-tempered girlfriend Lupe Sino in director Menno Meyjes tale of love and bullfighting. The
film is set in 1940s Spain and tells the story of Manolete s romantic quest for Lupe Sino's heart,
which continued until 1947, when he died in the bull ring at age 30.
Top customer reviews
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The dialogue at the end, between the mistress and the manager, "So I killed him?" -- "No, we all killed him!"
I laughed aloud a few times, I liked what I thought of as the realism, the capturing of 1948 Spain (and 1952 Mexico), and the acting was superb throughout. I enjoyed the passionate, gritty, wailing flamenco singing. If bullfighting is as old as ancient Minoan tales, then this film has a timeless theme: that humanity, in courting its destiny, is courting its death.
Despite loving parts of this film, I would give it three stars because I just hated the bullfighting scenes, however well-done and choreographed they were, and they were brilliant! The whole animal cruelty aspect upset me, even knowing that the cattle whose flesh I roast on the barbecue each week die more horribly.
What is good about this movie is some of the old footage of the real Manolete in the ring. The fashions and the world of bullfighting as it was 60 years ago are a delight to watch. Penelope Cruz is always wonderful but the relationship portrayed with el diestro Manolete is mostly fiction. Adrien Brody's resemblance to Manolete is nothing short of uncanny.