Hable con Ella (Talk to Her)

talktoher.jpgThe movie opens and closes in a theatre. In it, female dancers evoke deepset emotions while a man, watching, cries in empathy. Later, two men each tend to women lost to the darkness of coma, quietly sacrificing a part of themselves in service to love. Part way through the film is a strange little film-in-the-film, where a man, destined to slowly shrink into nothingness from a nutritional potion gone wrong, gives himself up to his female lover by crawling into her vagina.

Hable con Ella (Talk to Her) is the movie that writer / director Pedro Almodovar won the best writing Oscar for this year. Here, the feeling is one of composed sadness; Almodovar is known for his wildly flamboyant, sexualized films (Live Flesh, Tie me Up! Tie me Down!), but Hable con Ella almost seems conventional in comparison.

This isn’t a bad thing here. Almodovar has never been afraid to allow his stories and characters room to expand into strange and unexpected directions, and that holds true here still. But the ludicrious, which is usually no stranger in Almodovar’s work, is kept at bay, allowing his characters to express an emotional depth that has started to become a bit of a theme in his last few films.

Like his previous movie, Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother), Hable con Ella is deeply felt, well-acted, and lingers in the mind long afterwards. Highly recommended.

ISSN 1499-7894
Recent Posts
Contact Archives Web Love Writing Photos FAQs Home