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El amante bilingüe (1993)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  1 April 1993 (Spain)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Imanol Arias ...
Joan Lluís Bozzo ...
Valls Verdú
Pep Cruz ...
Arnau Vilardebó ...
Ricard Borràs ...
Jordi Dauder ...
Eufemia Román ...
Carla Lombardi ...
Blanca Apilánez ...
Esperanza Grases ...
Abuela (as Esperanza Graces)
Javier Gómez ...
Policía uniforme
Felipe Hita ...
Policía paisano


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

1 April 1993 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The Bilingual Lover  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


ESP 122,858,859 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


According to Vicente Aranda, he had to change his original plan for the look and photography of the movie because Ornella Muti had to look beautiful. See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


Luisa Fernanda
Music by Federico Moreno Torroba
Lyrics by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández Shaw
See more »

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User Reviews

Comical as well as cruel farce with very good main cast such as Imanol Arias and Ornella Muti.
18 January 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

A highly sophisticated as well as passable -though no accomplished- work by Vicente Aranda , being based on a notorious novel . Intense and ironic comedy/farce/drama about an ¨Amour Fou¨ and jealousy that lead to tragic consequences . Solid film dealing with jealousy , obsessed love , passions , treason , sexual intrigues and an extraordinary acting by the main cast ; being sometimes slow-moving , but also steamily entertaining . Concerning a deep love story who transformed a man of lower-class called Juan (Imanol Arias) . He is a person of humble origin who at an exhibition about ¨the trial of Burgos¨ meets a wealthy and beautiful woman named Norma (Ornella Muti) . In spite of class difference they early get married , but their marriage fails . But Norma is a sluttish and crude domineering woman and Juan is deceived when she has affairs with several lovers : a shoe-cleaner (Javier Bardem) , among others . Then Juan carries out a mental transformation , developing a double personality , as a well-dressed gypsy called Juan Faneca and as a street beggar with scars and masks . However , his ploy backfires and he remains fixated on jealously . Meanwhile, Juan begins a torrid affair with the next door woman (Loles Leon) .

Acceptable but uneven drama , based on a novel written by Juan Marse mostly filmed in city of Barcelona and surroundings . The picture is plenty of obsessive eroticism , social-politics remarks and a real critique to abuse and excesses of Catalan language . It is a peculiar story of love , lies , jealousy , quirky sex and with a brief intrigue behind . This interesting as well as satiric story is a passionate retelling and ironic drama , including strong as well as exuberant sex scenes . In fact , many erotic scenes were suggested by the principal actors and the same filmmaker . The movie has some cinematic references such as ¨the phantom of Opera¨ and ¨The invisible man¨ when our starring wears similar masks and bandages . According to Vicente Aranda, he had to change his original plan for the look and photography of the movie because Ornella Muti had to look beautiful . Vicente Aranda also writes the interesting script along with Juan Marse based on his own story . Very good acting by duo protagonist such as Imanol Arias as Juan who wants to be in forever love with her and Ornella Muti as Norma, a selfish and domineering woman . As Ornella Muti steals the show , winning yet another magnificent interpretation with an alluring and smoldering role , absolutely hypnotic in her especial as well as sadomasochist relationship to husband Juan . The secondary actors were very intelligent chosen and they all did a marvelous performance such as Loles Leon , Ricard Borràs , Jordi Dauder and a brief appearance by Juan Bardem . Furthermore , some uncredited cameos from Fernando Guillén Cuervo , Fernando Guillén and Maribel Verdú . Spotless pictorial as well as evocative cinematography by magnificent cameraman Juan Amoros though wastes the scenario of gorgeous city of Barcelona . Amoros is deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen with a long and prestigious artistic career and he photographed Vicente Aranda's ¨Libertarias¨ and ¨Jinetes Del Alba¨ series . In addition , a willingness almost perfect of the elements of each frame , every scene , every place . Sensitive and imaginative musical score by Jose Nieto , Aranda's usual , including an enjoyable leitmotif . The flick had little success , and is considered to be Aranda's one of the worst . The film was Nominated Goya Awards 1994 to Best Screenplay .

The motion picture was professionally directed in his particular style by veteran filmmaker Vicente Aranda . Although originally intended to be produced as an episode of the TV crime anthology series 'La Huella Del Crimen 2' (1991), before producer Pedro Costa decided to rewrite the script as a theatrical film . He directed a series of award-winning movies firmly establishing him as one of the best Spanish filmmakers . His usual film editor is own wife , Teresa Font . Vicente is an expert on literary adaptations ,as he has adapted four novels by Juan Marsé Canciones Amor en Lolita's Club (2007), El Amante Bilingüe (1993), Si Te Dicen Que Caí (1989) and La Muchacha De Las Bragas De Oro (1980). Vicente often shoots strong erotic scenes , being ¨jealousy¨, a customary issue in his films . Vicente has been working from the 60s with ¨Fata Morgana¨ , Las Crueles¨ , ¨Novia Ensangrentada¨ , ¨Clara es el Precio¨ , among others . His greatest successes were intense dramas with plenty of sex such as ¨Amantes¨, ¨Pasion Turca¨ , ¨Si Dicen Que Cai¨ , ¨Intruso¨ , ¨Tiempo De Silencio¨ , ¨Carmen¨ , along with a delinquency tale : ¨El Lute¨ I and II starred by Imanol Arias , his fetish actor along with Victoria Abril (They have worked together 12 times) and specially the historical story titled ¨Juana La Loca¨ also dealing with jealousy and ¨Amantes¨, easily the best of the numerous films of Aranda .

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