IMDb > Vicente Aranda > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDeskmessage board
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDeskmessage board
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

Connect with IMDb



2014 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2004 | 2002 | 1992

2 items from 2002


Mad Love

27 August 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In Mad Love (Juana La Loca), veteran Spanish writer-director Vicente Aranda subjects a remote historical figure to modern-day psychological treatment. Joan of Castile (1479-1555) has gone down in history as "Joan the Mad." Obsessively jealous of her husband -- and we can pretty much guess what the problem was when we learn he was known as Philip the Handsome -- Joan was devastated by his early death. Behaving erratically before and after Philip's death, Joan was confined for the remainder of her life in a castle by her father and later her son.

To Aranda, all this smacks of "mad love," an unbridled passion we moderns know all too well. So he portrays Joan as something of a spoiled Beverly Hills wife, unfortunate to love her husband excessively but none too wisely. Newcomer Pilar Lopez de Ayala won a Goya for her portrayal of Mad Joan, and the film was Spain's entry for this year's foreign language film Oscar. Yet the distant subject matter and the unavoidably gloomy tale that engulfs these characters probably doom the Sony Pictures Classics release to a limited audience.

Aranda's script takes pains to contemporize its medieval characters. There are only passing references to the religious austerity of the Spanish court and its persecution of non-Catholics. Otherwise, Joan and Philip (Italian actor Daniele Liotti, who is dubbed) are like any dysfunctional couple. He barely troubles to conceal his love affairs with other women, while she suffers jealous rages within the royal apartments. Apparently, Joan has an insatiable need for the pleasures of the marital bed. Even breast-feeding her children -- the only maternal act we witness in the movie -- sends her into ecstasy.

Upon her unexpected ascension to the Castilian throne because of the deaths of an older brother, sister and finally her mother in 1504, Joan ignores her duties as a monarch to pursue evidence of her husband's transgressions. Egged on by his supporters, Philip decides to have his wife declared mad so he can seize the throne. Only his sudden death delays this action.

The trouble with making this queen a thoroughly modern maiden is that it also makes her appear foolish and shallow rather than, as was more likely, a victim of mental illness. It's hard to sympathize with a ruler who has so little regard for her own subjects, children or the role history has thrust upon her.

The two main actors do fine jobs of humanizing their characters, but the time leaps make them struggle to ascribe motives and subtleties to ever-shifting behavior patterns. Courtiers come off as a conniving lot, as is common in costume dramas, but the actors do create vivid personalities. Especially noteworthy is Manuela Arcuri, who manages to be sensual yet hugely vulnerable as Philip's Moorish mistress.

Aranda sometimes drifts into cliches. A heavy downpour accompanies the announcement of the death of Joan's mother. Joan's father is seen eating like a pig while conspiring with her husband to make certain we really don't like him. A voice-over narration turns the film into a history lesson rather than a tale of doomed love.

The pomp and circumstance, art direction, elegant lighting and cinematography evoke the medieval world well. Jose Nieto's orchestrations are in a restrained classical mode. But the milieu on display, not quite medieval and not quite modern , never comes to life.

MAD LOVE

Sony Pictures Classics

An Enrique Cerezo PC/Production Group/Take 2000 production in association with TVE, Canal Plus, TeleMadrid

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Vicente Aranda

Producer: Enrique Cerezo

Director of photography: Paco Femenia

Production designer: Josep Rosell

Music: Jose Nieto

Costume designer: Javier Artinano

Editor: Teresa Font

Cast:

Joan: Pilar Lopez de Ayala

Philip: Daniele Liotti

Aixa: Mannuela Arcuri

Alvaro de Estuniga: Eloy Azorin

Elvira: Rosana Pastor

De Vere: Guiliano Gemma

Admiral: Roberto Alvarez

Ines: Caroline Bona

Running time -- 117 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

Permalink | Report a problem


Mad Love

27 August 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In "Mad Love" (Juana La Loca), veteran Spanish writer-director Vicente Aranda subjects a remote historical figure to modern-day psychological treatment. Joan of Castile (1479-1555) has gone down in history as "Joan the Mad". Obsessively jealous of her husband -- and we can pretty much guess what the problem was when we learn he was known as Philip the Handsome -- Joan was devastated by his early death. Behaving erratically before and after Philip's death, Joan was confined for the remainder of her life in a castle by her father and later her son.

To Aranda, all this smacks of "mad love," an unbridled passion we moderns know all too well. So he portrays Joan as something of a spoiled Beverly Hills wife, unfortunate to love her husband excessively but none too wisely. Newcomer Pilar Lopez de Ayala won a Goya for her portrayal of Mad Joan, and the film was Spain's entry for this year's foreign language film Oscar. Yet the distant subject matter and the unavoidably gloomy tale that engulfs these characters probably doom the Sony Pictures Classics release to a limited audience.

Aranda's script takes pains to contemporize its medieval characters. There are only passing references to the religious austerity of the Spanish court and its persecution of non-Catholics. Otherwise, Joan and Philip (Italian actor Daniele Liotti, who is dubbed) are like any dysfunctional couple. He barely troubles to conceal his love affairs with other women, while she suffers jealous rages within the royal apartments. Apparently, Joan has an insatiable need for the pleasures of the marital bed. Even breast-feeding her children -- the only maternal act we witness in the movie -- sends her into ecstasy.

Upon her unexpected ascension to the Castilian throne because of the deaths of an older brother, sister and finally her mother in 1504, Joan ignores her duties as a monarch to pursue evidence of her husband's transgressions. Egged on by his supporters, Philip decides to have his wife declared mad so he can seize the throne. Only his sudden death delays this action.

The trouble with making this queen a thoroughly modern maiden is that it also makes her appear foolish and shallow rather than, as was more likely, a victim of mental illness. It's hard to sympathize with a ruler who has so little regard for her own subjects, children or the role history has thrust upon her.

The two main actors do fine jobs of humanizing their characters, but the time leaps make them struggle to ascribe motives and subtleties to ever-shifting behavior patterns. Courtiers come off as a conniving lot, as is common in costume dramas, but the actors do create vivid personalities. Especially noteworthy is Manuela Arcuri, who manages to be sensual yet hugely vulnerable as Philip's Moorish mistress.

Aranda sometimes drifts into cliches. A heavy downpour accompanies the announcement of the death of Joan's mother. Joan's father is seen eating like a pig while conspiring with her husband to make certain we really don't like him. A voice-over narration turns the film into a history lesson rather than a tale of doomed love.

The pomp and circumstance, art direction, elegant lighting and cinematography evoke the medieval world well. Jose Nieto's orchestrations are in a restrained classical mode. But the milieu on display, not quite medieval and not quite modern, never comes to life.

MAD LOVE

Sony Pictures Classics

An Enrique Cerezo PC/Production Group/Take 2000 production in association with TVE, Canal Plus, TeleMadrid

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Vicente Aranda

Producer: Enrique Cerezo

Director of photography: Paco Femenia

Production designer: Josep Rosell

Music: Jose Nieto

Costume designer: Javier Artinano

Editor: Teresa Font

Cast:

Joan: Pilar Lopez de Ayala

Philip: Daniele Liotti

Aixa: Mannuela Arcuri

Alvaro de Estuniga: Eloy Azorin

Elvira: Rosana Pastor

De Vere: Guiliano Gemma

Admiral: Roberto Alvarez

Ines: Caroline Bona

Running time -- 117 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

Permalink | Report a problem


2014 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2004 | 2002 | 1992

2 items from 2002


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners