94. “Talk to Her”, Pedro Almodovar (2002)

Part of the 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list.

Talk to Her

Talk to Her aka Hable con Ella

dir. Pedro Almodovar scr. Pedro Almodovar cin. Javier Aguirresarobe with Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores

In 100 Words: A complex portrayal of devotion, Almodovar’s masterpiece audaciously blurs the line between love and obsession, care and harm, all the while testing the limits of his audience’s sympathies and moral boundaries. Inspired by dance, older films, and music, his formal control here—emotionally charged colors, expressive design and cinematography, haunting score—adds dimensions to a script that perversely refuses to demonize its characters’ worst impulses and transgressions. But beyond its technical sublimity, this is the rare film to depict men who have feminine qualities without questioning their masculinity, while exploring the different ways people choose to communicate with each other.

Other Movies for Context: I adore Pedro Almodovar, and his filmography is divine, always smartly mixing melodrama with farce and comedy, while still being able precise about human sexuality, how they relate to one another, etc. I’ll start with Volver (2006), my personal favorite of his, along with All About My Mother (1999) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) is pretty good too, even if it is a little icky, storywise.

 

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