Mexican beauty Camilla hopes to rise above her station by marrying a wealthy American. That is complicated by meeting Arturo Bandini, a first-generation Italian hoping to land a writing career and a blue-eyed blonde on his arm.
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L.A. in the early 1930's: racism, poverty, and disease color the Bunker Hill neighborhood where Arturo Bandini, a lover of men and beasts alike, has arrived from Colorado to write the great Los Angeles novel. After six months and down to his last nickel, he orders a cup of coffee, served by Camilla Lopez, beautiful, self-possessed, and Mexican. Arturo gets advice, encouragement, and an occasional check from H.L. Mencken, so he keeps writing and he keeps seeing Camilla. But, he's mean to her for no apparent reason, so the relationship sputters. A housekeeper from back East suggests a way out of his jealously and fears. "Camilla Bandini": is it in the cards? Written by
When Robert Towne first approached Salma Hayek for the role of Camilla Lopez, she turned it down because she didn't want to be typecast as a Mexican. She accepted the role eight years later. See more »
I read the book 8 years ago. I was moved by it. I saw the movie today, and everything in the movie was the way I pictured things in the book. This has got to be the best movie of the year. I thought it did justice to the great John Fante's classic. I can also see why Charles Bukowski liked Fante so much... he was one of the first writers that wrote about the LA of rooming houses, cheap hotels and seedy lounges... although, I feel Ask the Dust, the book and the movie, made it seem a little more romantic. I can't say enough about Colin Farrell's performance; this is by far my favorite. Salma, I have always liked. The sets and the costumes were also spot on. I was transported back in time. I liked the fact that there was very little profanity, which kept the integrity of the book and was most likely accurate for the period that was being portrayed. I think no matter what station in life you were in back then, you always tried to put on your best face. This was interesting, because it contrasted with the dingy atmosphere of 1930's LA.
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