Set in '50s Spain, a young man (Sanz) leaves the army and looks for a job so he and his fiancée (Verdu) can get married. He rents a room from a widow (Abril), and shortly begins a torrid ... See full summary »
Diana, Duchess of Belflor, is a smart and attractive young lady who is in love with his secretary Teodoro, but he is engaged to Marcela, a lady-in-waiting of the Duchess. Diana, driven by ... See full summary »
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the ... See full summary »
True story of thirteen totally normal young women that suffered harsh questioning and were put in prison under made up charges of helping the rebellion against Franco back in the 1940's. ... See full summary »
Emilio Martínez Lázaro
Pilar López de Ayala,
Based on the novel by Prosper Merimee, CARMEN is the classic tale of forbidden passion between a young man (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and a spoken-for woman, Carmen (Paz Vega). It is told in ... See full summary »
El Bola, a 12 year old boy a.k.a. "Pellet" is a 12 year old boy raised in a violent and sordid environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
A girl, who lives together with her cousin who earns some money by dealing and her boyfriend who is a policeman, is regularly transporting some drugs from Morocco for her cousin. As all of ... See full summary »
Juana is married off by her pious parents, the Catholic kings Ferndinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, to ally Spain, united by their marriage, to the Burgundian and other Habsburg heritage of archduke Maximilian's son Philip. When they meet, it's love at first sight, for her all-consuming, for him one of many happy bed partnerships as she later discovers. Deaths in her family soon make Juana Isabella's heir, but Ferdinand suggests she inherited her grandmother's madness and supports Philip's ambition to rule instead, which becomes the stakes of political maneuvering in the Cortes (nobility-dominated parliament). Combined with Philip's incurable infidelity, which includes a Moorish whore-princess, multiple drama is inevitable, and worse follows. Written by
Allegedly the "true story" of Juana de Castilla, the eldest daughter of the Catholic Queen Isabella (yes, the same who funded Columbus's expedition), the film charts the progress and degeneration of her morbid obsession with her husband, the Archduke Philip of Austria, known as "The Handsome" (and played in a rather unispired manner by Italian hunk Daniele Liotti, at his most buttery and beefy here). This is a groan-inducingly familiar story of late 15th c., early 16th c. intrigue, betrayal and bodice-ripping. It drips destructive lust from start to finish. But while La Reine Margot succeeds in making cruel sensuality and ruthless, cut-throat intrigue entertaining to watch, Juana La Loca just doesn't pull off. It just ends up feeling like a big-budgeted soap opera, with below-average, lazy or over-keen acting. Liotti looks positively bored and Pilar López de Ayala in the title role though to be fair she may mature into a proper talent just seems to be trying too hard, switching back and fourth from two-dimensional horny-looking to spoilt teenage hysterics all the way through. Some of the supporting cast are OK, with the exception of Manuela Arcuri, another Italian pin-up, voluptuous and beautiful but really no "actress" to speak of. I couldn't in fact bring myself to feel any concern towards any character, nor for that matter did I feel strongly in a negative way against any of the supposed villains. What a waste of a substantial film budget! This one, sadly, is just so rhetorical and deja-vu, nodding to other films in the genre rather than to its source material - history - for inspiration. It seems to me that such a fascinating and complex historic era deserved a far superior film-maker to evoke it.
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