Dario Grandinetti

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The Good Boy Review


OK
The Good Boy, a journey into Madrid's lower-class barrios, introduces us to a young boxer named Angel (Álex González), whose optimism battles with his realism, and that fight ends up as a draw. A Rocky wannabe, Alex comes to realize that his route out of the neighborhood will not be through a boxing ring, and he decides to take a very different path.

The kid's got problems. His hand is injured, he's being asked to throw fights, he works three part-time jobs, and his poor widowed mother is about to evicted from her flat and has no money to go anywhere else. At the same time, his vivacious girlfriend Alicia (Eva Marciel) is starting to hunger for the finer things in life.

Continue reading: The Good Boy Review

Talk to Her Review


Excellent
The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar is one of our finest imports. He has a talent for creating entertaining stories from the most difficult universal condition, often through deftly balancing melodrama and comedy, such as in the operatic stylings of All About My Mother or the more simplistically toned Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. His latest, Talk to Her, returns Almodóvar to a more interactive sentimentality through a pair of male pals that bond over their desire for comatose patients.

This central focus, the platonically affectionate friendship of two men, is admirably rare to begin with. Sure, men are pals in domestic-made features, but they rarely hug or discuss emotional dysfunction because American society is so homophobic. Audiences and critics alike are attuned to the slightest hint that a film might be presenting a gay character or subplot so that it can be easy to dismiss even the most intelligent works of fiction as simply "queer" without giving it the further attention to human issues it deserves. One would think that writer/director Almodóvar would lean more towards gay/lesbian issues, being a homosexual, but he thankfully seems bent on capturing the essence of people, in all their parts, and not just whom they choose to sleep with. His consistently honest stance, both in interviews and film projects, fuels his ability to intelligently articulate heart-wrenching and heartwarming experiences with all of his creations, regardless of sexual orientation.

Continue reading: Talk to Her Review

Talk To Her Review


OK

Spanish auteur Pedro Amoldóvar has a special talent for making eccentrics feel accessible. His films are always populated, at least in part, by unusual characters (transvestites, bondage freaks, pregnant nuns) who are so fully developed as characters -- and as human beings -- that they seem no stranger than your next door neighbor.

In "Talk To Her," the director's central weirdo an awkward, obsessive, socially incongruous male nurse with a stalker's crush on a comatose patient. His name is Benigno (Javier Camara) and his intensely sheltered life of caring for his fake-invalid mother has not only compelled him toward this kind of imaginary, one-sided "relationship," it was also the catalyst for his obsession in the first place.

Benigno lived with his mother across the street from a dance studio where he first became dumbstruck by Alicia (Leonor Watling), watching her through the windows before a hit-and-run accident left her hospitalized and effectively brain-dead. Having taken correspondence courses in nursing to better care for the old woman -- who had since died and left him alone in the apartment from which he rarely ventured -- Benigno convinced the girl's father to hire him as her private nurse.

Continue reading: Talk To Her Review

Dario Grandinetti

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