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Little Ashes
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Little Ashes More at IMDbPro »

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91 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

The critics are WRONG!

Author: Actor317 from United States
9 May 2009

Don't always believe what the critics say. I have no explanation as to why some critics gave Little Ashes bad reviews other than it just wasn't your typical movie and they couldn't understand that.

This movie tells a beautiful and fascinating story (read the synopsis beforehand it helps).

The acting is excellent.

The accents sound/are authentic (when Dali sounds American or French that is done intentionally from what i hear.) oh, and it's an INDEPENDENT FILM! aka it's not necessarily going to be like every other dramatic film out there.

Go into it with an OPEN MIND. If you enjoy the previews you will probably enjoy the movie.

Go see it and form your own opinion. This movie is great but it isn't for everyone.

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33 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Haunting and captivating film with wonderful actors

Author: JaneYak from St.Petersburg, Russia
21 July 2009

I watched this film a week ago and after the last shot I realized that I wanted to watch it again. That very moment! From the very beginning! I read in someone's article the word "haunting" about this film - I absolutely agree with it. It's an elegantly made film with fascinating actors. The enchanting guitar, violin and piano just intensify the heady mood of it. The actors' way of speaking (described as "terrible accents" in someone's comment) didn't bother me at all, maybe because neither English nor Spanish are my first languages. But I agree with Dromerito2003 that it would've been more believable if all of them spoke Spanish (Robert Pattinson definitely has "language ear" and it wouldn't be difficult for him to speak Spanish only, I think). With subtitles. By the way now I'd like to learn Spanish to read Lorca's poems in it. And to visit Spain shown so lovingly ( I agree that photography is great!)and to see as many works of Dali as possible. And to watch "Little Ashes" again...

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26 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

wow. i loved it. definitely a love or hate movie.

Author: jayjay_shine13 from Australia
21 July 2009

There aren't much words to describe. Whether you like this movie or not definitely depends on the type of person you are. its definitely a real independent European film. but i love it. i think the actors capture everything well and the casting was exceptional. i loved the relationship between Dali and Lorca. I watched it a few days ago and i am still thinking and obsessing about the film and its aspects. I think if your the more sentimental type you'll enjoy it, but then again you may not. Like i said, you will either love it or not. its not one of those 'society-accepted' common films i.e. 'transformers'. its artsie and dramatic and Dali is just eccentric. love it. love love love it. 9/10.

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47 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

A Devastating, Brilliant & Surreal film; A Timely Film in 2009.....

Author: Dark Of Matinee from United States
10 May 2009

This film is definitely in that upper echelon category of films-- will either be deeply loved or greatly misunderstood. Viewers who go with an open mind; a tolerant & patient mind; understanding that this film is depicting surreal times; understanding that this type of film may be appreciated on a poetic/metaphoric level (rather than spelling everything out/beating viewers over the head with facts or niceties)-- coming from this place then I feel this film will be greatly enjoyed. (For some viewers, it might help to perhaps have a brief surrealism/Dali./Spain between the wars primer; this might make a difference in better appreciating certain aspects of the characters and the times portrayed.) I agree with another review, that in its essence this story about a little known poet and peer of Dali named Federico García Lorca-- the words devastating, beautiful, tragic, and inspiring come to mind. Lastly, even though this film depicts early 20th Century events, I must underscore the fact that this a highly important and timely film right now in 2009 in terms of basic human rights/dignity; namely the right that any human has to deeply love whomever that person wishes to love. DEFINITELY recommend this film.

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27 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Little Ashes ... one of my favourite films of the year

Author: Bethany Riddle from United Kingdom
12 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am writing this comment to declare my love for the film Little Ashes. I watched it for the first time last night, expecting it to be a rambling journey through the themes of art and lust. However i was pleasantly surprised to enjoy an excellent film. Personally i enjoy any historically based film but this is pure genius. The exciting tantalising life of Dali is explored perfectly in this film. The confusion and repressed love felt for Frederico struck a cord in my mind and i longed for them to couple together. Any film that inspires emotion in the viewer deserves the best comments any person could make. Everything about it made me smile. The delightful humour delivered with precision by the very talented and humble Robert Pattinson made me laugh out loud. The tragic ending to Frederico Garcia Lorca made me cry and the pure anger and frustration felt by Louis made me wish for their to be a happy ending. After watching this film i unbenowst to myself spend five minutes contemplating of the struggle that must have been felt by Salvador Dali at the time. The costume for the film also inspired me a lot. I aim in life to design and make costume for TV and film and this film spurred me on more. I wanted to be in the film whilst watching it, dancing in the bars and strolling along the beach, creating life from my very steps. The accents have been criticised heavily but i believe if it were not for this you would not understand the depth of emotion felt by the actors. A director is there to make every actor pronounce each word with precision and some have chastised these actors for doing this. It was the directors wish and it made the film more real. A technique i found extremely successful was the use of over head dialect from the letter reading between Salvador and Frederico, the English translation of the poetry express the frustration in the poems themselves and therefore adds to the realism of the film. One thing that frustrated me was the comments by American teens yearning to see this film simply for Robert Pattinson being in it. I myself am a British teen and this was part of the reason for me watching it i admit, but the story line enticed me more. I believe any role played by Robert Pattinson is there to be praised and his own reflection of character portrayed in the film make it ever more believable. Overall i believe this film is a beautiful piece revealing the frustration and depth of emotion normally hidden by people. Commendations to the director and actors for their brilliant portrayals. 10 out of 10, i loved it.

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32 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Systematically Creating Confusion

Author: Krazylilqbanqt1 from United States
3 May 2009

I just saw "Little Ashes" at the LGBT Festival here in Miami and I have got to say that it was good. I do have to warn you that it is abstract at some points but it IS a Dali movie and he led a very strange life. The movie does justice to the man. I went thinking it was going to be completely about Dali but it mainly focuses on the relationship he had with Frederico. Unfortunately I am very quite aware that this movie will not get the attention it deserves in the states and that a good portion of the people who will watch this movie will only watch for the main actor, Mister Robert Pattinson but I still suggest that Dali lovers watch this movie as well as fans of slightly strange movies.

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26 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

No Limit

Author: MadameGeorge from United States
31 May 2009

I will admit, what drew me to this movie was the fact that Robert Pattinson was in it and after seeing Twilight and the ga-ga-ness of him and the media, young girls and even old ladies, I wanted to see him act. (It came across to me in Twilight that he was more eye candy than anything else and his 'acting' was poor.) In Little Ashes he begins shy, reserved and awkward and he ends over the top, flamboyant and awkward. I really feel no middle ground with him, it is one extreme or the other. (I guess one could argue that was Dali himself as well.) He is enjoyable to watch on screen and I do believe that there is potential there. I would have chosen differently for Dali, Pattinson is too young maybe? and British- it would have been nice to see the film in the original language of Dali, even if I had to read it.

Javier Beltran was an excellent choice to play famous writer Federico Garcia Lorca. He was passionate, commanding on screen and as a audience member you grow to love him. You feel his confusion, frustration and love for art, his country and his family. Out of all the players in this film he delivers lines with such a fervor that it as though he is speaking to you- in our time.

At times the dialog falls flat and the story moves slow, it is overall a well told story about art, love and betrayal, just as the tag line reads. The music forces the movie along at some points and the flashes of black and white imagery try to convey the chaos that was surrounding Dali and his mates in Spain in the 1920's and it does not do justice to the uncertainty and fear that was rampant.

If movies are in themselves pieces of art this is a valiant effort on the part of everyone involved, including Mr. Pattinson- though I hope this is not the best I see from him, but it did make me enjoy him as an actor, not eye candy. He to a chance and pushed the limits on himself, certain scenes he is impressive and you cannot look away- even when the image is disturbing- and taking on such an iconic figure in history takes courage.

I think that Dali and Pattinson may have one thing in common for their art- no limits.

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23 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

"Little Ashes" - Big impressions!

Author: Natalie agladze from Tbilisi, Georgia
24 July 2009

I think this movie isn't for everyone. It's deeply emotional, dramatical and extremely well-done. All the feelings, thoughts and passion shown in this movie are expressed masterly. It's one of the best movies I've ever seen!!! the world is overflowed by insipid and violence-based films, absolutely senseless and dull "masterpieces" of modern cinematography and I always welcome different and non-commercial motion pictures. I never read critics' reviews, because nowadays, neither of them approves a movie without a budget of 100 million dollars, special effects, hot chicks, muscular bad guys and brutality. Movies like "Little Ashes" always stay beyond their attention, but honestly, I don't care! My vote is Excellent!!

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A great surprise of a film

Author: MReed542 from United States
3 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I admit that I went to see this film because Robert Pattinson was in it but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I actually really liked this film. A lot. Pattinson's Dali was definitely well done and entertaining – no need for him to be embarrassed by this performance – he CAN act. But the real accolades go to Javier Beltran's portrayal of Lorca. This film is really about him. I thought Beltran's performance was refreshingly understated and I felt every pang of his heart. Marina Gatell was also exceptional and I thought her scenes were perfectly acted. What I liked about this movie was that it did not beat me over the head with an idea or a message. It just told the story and through the performances of the actors I connected in a subtle yet deep way. I thought there were many very well done scenes. I laughed out loud at some and I cried at others. I love movies that have quiet visually wonderful scenes that make a mark and this movie had several. I particularly liked a scene where Lorca is writing and Dali is painting in a garage of sorts. There's also a great scene where Dali paints a canvas and himself totally black. Great stuff. I wish we got to see more of Spain but I guess budget constraints are to blame there. Also, it's one of those art house movies where you can't understand what the actors are saying at times. Frustrating because most of the lines I did get to hear were very well written and delivered. All in all I loved it.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

An intelligent, poetic film that could've been much better.

Author: Metal Angel Ehrler from Honduras
28 January 2010

It's satisfying and revealing for us to read our favorite authors, to see our favorite paintings and to watch those movies of old which have touched our hearts...and then, once we read an autobiography or watch a biopic about their creators, they make so much more sense and acquire an ever deeper brilliance to them because we can FEEL their emotions and because we know WHY they created such marvelous pieces of art. Watching Paul Morrison's remarkably powerful "Little Ashes", I feel like I'm never going to read Federico García Lorca, I'm never going to appreciate Salvador Dalí and I'm never going to see Luis Buñuel under the same light ever again. Morrison's film gives us that special kind of enlightenment, and it transports us to a different age in such a way that, once it's over, we feel trapped in between our present day and a tempestuously romantic afternoon in 1922.

"Little Ashes" takes place in 1922 Spain, when the country was under the violent regime of the Guerilla, and when the church and the government forced a conservative attitude on life, art and sex. Revolution was beginning to be whispered in the dark corners of universities and Bohemian bars, and it is here where we find Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán), an eager student who writes beautiful poems but who seeks betterment. We also find his best friend Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty), a revolutionary cinephile who gains the inspiration for his short films from the disturbing situation in Spain. These are nice young men who live the life of students and artists, happily bashing at the government but always remaining within their boundaries. But along comes Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson), a quirky young painter who dreams of becoming the greatest painter of Spain and who constantly challenges social boundaries and incites freedom of expression. García Lorca and Buñuel become instant friends with Dalí, but from the first moment they meet, García Lorca and Dalí are joined together by an unbearable attraction...which they must keep hidden, especially from their mutual friend Buñuel who hates homosexuals and from the rest of their society who could threaten their lives.

The film constantly mixes and entwines different subjects: the tense, suffocating love between García Lorca and Dalí, their complicated relationship with Buñuel, the political situation of the country and their artistic flashes of genius. We get to a point where we don't know whether the action and dialogue on screen pertains to a political or romantic subject. These three men are geniuses, and they all have a complicated personality that constantly clashes with each other's art and political views. This is remarkable- the mélange of subjects and points of view. It makes the viewer a spectator of the historical drama that surrounded the characters, and it floods us with information and emotions which don't make us biased towards a specific character. It's not that kind of film where you either love or hate the heroes and villains; everyone is both a sweetheart and a monster, everything has a good side and a bad one to it. It's up to us, the viewers, to take sides and analyze whom and what we sympathize with.

The film is poetic, in every sense of the word. García Lorca reads his poems in various scenes, other scenes feature sweeping takes of a mesmerizing landscape with sublime music, other scenes feature deep and intelligent dialogue that could never be understood without a profound look into the characters' souls. That's another thing I loved about the film- the fact that it feeds you raw art, raw emotion and it's up to you to make sense of it all. This is a film to be analyzed, pondered and savored in your entrails. Anything less than that, and you're bound to lose track of some things. The characters never say or express what they feel, but resort to beautiful (yet complicated) poems, surrealist paintings or obscure films to hint at the reason behind their actions. We, the audience, take it all in, bask in their art, and weigh everything.

The film is executed with a quiet finesse, with sublime tenderness. It gives you facts little by little, it gives you time to explore each character, it gives you pieces of their artistic work, and you begin to finally understand what everything means. The actors deliver fine performances (with the special mention of Robert Pattinson who managed to capture Dalí almost perfectly, and who's inspired in his portrayal), the directing flows like undisturbed water, the writing is perfect and the overall production has little to be disliked.

But there is a slight flaw: there are moments of extreme tension, when the mood and the topic of the film have reached such nerve-wrecking heights and the film, in its attempt to keep up with the pace, cuts off the tension. Notice the scene where García Lorca, Dalí and Magdalena, a friend of theirs, are alone in their dorm room and the two men have had a bitter discussion; this is one of the most disturbing scenes in the film, and there isn't a follow up to the emotions exposed therein. Or notice a poignant scene, where Dalí and García Lorca are swimming; it's perfectly executed, but the next scene abruptly cuts the overall feeling the one before had created. Nevertheless, like I said before, it's a SLIGHT flaw, and the rest of the film rewards us and redeems our viewing experience.

This movie is based on actual characters, actual facts, and is inspired by written documents attesting to the majority of events, but great artistic liberty has also been used to add drama and romance. It had all the elements to make it a potential timeless masterpiece, but it remains at the level of a 'pretty good film.' Interesting to watch, enlightening, satisfying...but not as moving as I thought it would be.

Rating: 3 stars out of 4!

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