Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
From the roaring 1920s to the ruinous Spanish Civil War and Adolf Hitler's rise into power, the lives of an Irish schoolteacher, a provocative heiress and her Spanish muse are intricately interlaced, sharing the same destiny and passion.
Enza, 16, a drop out, is arrested with her older sister, Rosaria, for shoplifting. They're sent to a reformatory run by hard-nosed nuns. The girls tease Enza because she's a virgin. So, on ... See full summary »
While waiting for the brain surgery of his daughter Angela, victim of a motorcycle accident, the surgeon Timoteo (Sergio Castellitto) recalls his torrid affair with and passion for Italia (Penélope Cruz), a simple woman from slums in the periphery of the big city where he lives. The ghost of the beloved and sexual object of desire Italia chases him in his memories.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sabrina Impacciatore was determined to play Italia and prepared very hard for the role. When she auditioned, director Sergio Castellitto was so impressed with her performance that he hugged her and, a couple of days later, she was told that she had won the part. However, one month later, the producers decided to replace her with Penélope Cruz. See more »
Emotionally intense movie handled unflinchingly by lead actor Castellitto. This immersive character study into an unfulfilled doctor's love affair is a tad too lengthy and perhaps the director indulges in his on screen action a little too much, but the dedication that the two ill-fated lovers give to portraying the rawness of their emotions and instincts will, despite once in a while misfiring, leave few viewers unfazed. Penelope Cruz is great as the counterpoint, and deserves much respect for assuming such a demanding, unglamorous role at this point in her well established career. Obviously it is the love of acting that propels her(no comparison to her English jobs), as this mildly received Italian film must have been several notches down from her draw, but when you see the psychologically harrowing sex scenes (not always for the sex, but for the right before and right after) you realize why someone would be interested in such intimate work. As the film slightly overextends itself to reach it's climax which sort of dumbs down it's poignant theme, the performances and overall taste left are nonetheless real and life affirming despite all of it's muddied ramifications.
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