MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 596 this week

Before Night Falls (2000)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 18,886 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 129 user | 99 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, ... See full summary »

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 26 Sep 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 12 Dec 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 25 Feb 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 25 May 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Before Night Falls (2000)

Before Night Falls (2000) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Before Night Falls.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Mentally challenged Raymond Rourke gets blamed and framed by several kids after they accidentally kill his younger brother Bryce. Six years later, Raymond escapes from the state mental ... See full summary »

Director: Travis Legge
Stars: Linda Cieslik, Elissa Dowling, Steven Lee Edwards
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young refugee traveling from Russia to America in search of her lost father falls for a gypsy horseman.

Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Oleg Yankovskiy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about two inner city boys who are left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the authorities.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jordin Sparks
The Brave (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty ... See full summary »

Director: Johnny Depp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Marshall Bell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A demon possessed bride and her attendants are on a killing spree and it's up to the groom and his groomsmen to stop them on the day of the bloodiest wedding ever.

Director: Morgan Mead
Stars: Morgan Mead, Patrick Babbitt, Kyle S. More
The Sea Inside I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Is the love compatible with coupledom? And what of freedom and fidelity? These are some of the questions facing two married men.

Director: Yvan Attal
Stars: Johnny Depp, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sébastien Vidal
The Libertine (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life's work.

Director: Laurence Dunmore
Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Frank and Jack Baker are professional musicians who play small clubs. They play schmaltzy music and have never needed a day job. Times are changing and dates are becoming more difficult to ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Tom, gardener at the big house, can talk to plants but not to women. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the grounds.

Director: Guy Browning
Stars: Tom Mitchelson, Alice Zawadzki, Tom Yates
Nick of Time (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An unimpressive, every-day man is forced into a situation where he is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Courtney Chase
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

After an explosion in space and subsequent two-minute radio-out period, two astronauts return home to their wives. Slightly it's revealed that they're not the same as they were.

Director: Rand Ravich
Stars: Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Joe Morton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olatz López Garmendia ...
Reinaldo's Mother (as Olatz Lopez Garmendia)
Giovanni Florido ...
Young Reinaldo (as Giovani Florido)
Loló Navarro ...
Reinaldo's Grandmother
Batan Silva ...
Reinaldo's Father (as Sebastián Silva)
Carmen Beato ...
Teacher
Cy Schnabel ...
Smallest School Child (as Cy)
Olmo Schnabel ...
Smallest School Child
Vito Maria Schnabel ...
...
Reinaldo's Grandfather (as Pedro Armendáriz)
...
Carlos
...
Lolin
...
...
Professor
Aquiles Benites ...
Translator
Ewa Piaskowska ...
Pretty Blonde Student
Edit

Storyline

Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lázaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, "Revenge." Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cuban | poet | novelist | gay | cuba | See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, some language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

26 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antes que anochezca  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£83,136 (UK) (15 June 2001)

Gross:

£317,371 (UK) (6 July 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Set in Cuba, the film was made entirely in Mexico, with Veracruz doubling as Havana. Julian Schnabel said the crew was so pleasant to work with that, if he was making a film in the arctic, he would use a Mexican crew. See more »

Quotes

Reinaldo Arenas: What do you want?
Cuban Police Officer: What do I want... First of all, I want Carlos to frisk this guy.
Reinaldo Arenas: But he's not even dressed.
Police Officer: What's your name?
Reinaldo Arenas: My name? Franz Kafka.
Police Officer: Hm. You think I am ignorant?
[Reinaldo shakes his head]
Police Officer: Have any of you ever heard of a Camp called La Isla de Joventud?
[Everyone declines]
Police Officer: Then maybe you can tell me, when's the last time you took it up your ass.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features The Other Cuba (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Tu Veras
Written by Miguel Matamoros
Performed by Trio Matamoros
Published by Peer International Corp.
Courtesy of Discos Revuelta SADECV
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Thought Provoking Drama
12 May 2001 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

There's a lyrical quality to this film that makes the brutality of the oppression it depicts seem almost tangible, and `Before Night Falls, ` directed by Julian Schnabel, is photographed in a way that gives much of it something of a documentary feel (and, indeed, some archival footage is included), which defines the drama and adds to the overall impact of the film. And quite a story it is. The true story of writer Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem), who was born in Cuba in 1943, it touches on his childhood, but concentrates on the '60s and '70s, during which time Arenas was considered a counter-revolutionary by the Cuban government because of his writing, as well as his homosexuality.

Schnabel pulls no punches as he presents an incisive picture of the suffering inflicted upon Arenas (and others) through the wanton mistreatment and discrimination of Castro's regime. Extremely well crafted and delivered, it's a film that makes a powerful statement about many of the things so many take for granted. Like freedom of speech and assembly. For as the film points out, in post-revolution Cuba, a gathering of more than three becomes a criminal offense; a group of people getting together for a poetry reading become criminals of the State, and the punishment for expressing one's own thoughts can be, at the very least, torture and imprisonment.

This is the environment in which Arenas grew and matured, as a person, a poet, a writer; still, he was irrepressible when it came to his work, and managed to create and have some of it published, but only by smuggling it out of Cuba (in one instance to France, where his book was named Best Foreign Novel of the year). It's a ruthless, uncompromising world Schnabel lays bare with his camera, and it's that realistic recreation of that very real time and place that is one of the strengths of this film. But what really drives it and makes it so compelling, is Bardem's incredible portrayal of Arenas.

To say that Bardem's performance was worthy of an Oscar would be an understatement; along with Ed Harris (in `Pollock'), it was quite simply one of the two best of the year (2000). In order to bring Arenas to life, it was necessary for Bardem to capture all of the myriad complexities of the man and the artist, which he did-- and to perfection. It's a challenging role, and Bardem more than lives up to it, with a detailed performance through which he expresses the physical, as well as the emotional aspects of the character: His mannerisms, his walk, the body language that says so much about who he is; how he copes with living in a seemingly hopeless situation. By the end of the movie, because of Bardem, you know who Reinaldo Arenas was, and you're not likely to forget him.

The most poignant scenes in the film are those in which Arenas' words are being recited as the camera creates a visual context for them, looking out through the window of a moving car or bus at the streets, towns, buildings and people, as Arenas describes them. These scenes fill the senses and are virtually transporting; and it is in them that the true poetic nature of Arenas is made manifest. It's beautiful imagery, and the contrast between the beauty of the words and the ugliness of the reality against which it is set is powerful. All of which is beautifully conceived and executed by Schnabel; an excellent piece of filmmaking.

In a dual supporting performance, Johnny Depp is effective as Bon Bon, a `queen' Arenas meets during his incarceration, and also as Lieutenant Victor, who oversees the prison. Each character is unique, and it's quite a showcase for Depp's versatility.

Rounding out the supporting cast are Olivier Martinez (Lazaro), Andrea Di Stefano (Pepe), Sean Penn (Cuco), Michael Wincott (Herberto), Pedro Armendariz Jr. (Reinaldo's Grandfather) and Vito Maria Schnabel (Teenage Reinaldo). A film that is not necessarily entertaining, and at times unpleasant to watch because of it's stark realism, `Before Night Falls' is, nevertheless, thought-provoking, riveting drama that is thoroughly engrossing. And it proves that beauty can indeed be found in the least likely of places. But it also makes you realize that it is up to each individual to care enough to seek it out, and to hopefully have the wisdom to realize it once it is found. And that's the real beauty of a film like this; it affords you the opportunity to do just that. I rate this one 10/10.


54 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
stop seeing this movie just for johnny depp lauramania
Johnny Depp TheJiglett
The last scenes...... help needed.... ilnbnblm
Sean Penn? Somebody please help!! :-P skitz1168
Movies about writers and the writing process zimt
answer my ?s please ENDora_OF_THE_LINE
Discuss Before Night Falls (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?