6 user 6 critic

The Whore and the Whale (2004)

La puta y la ballena (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 April 2004 (Argentina)
Vera's, a Spanish journalist and writer former publisher brings her a suitcase with old photographs and letters and asks her to travel to Argentina to write a story about the man and the ... See full summary »


Luis Puenzo
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

The Plague (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. While many attempt to flee the city, Dr. Bernard Rieux sends his sick wife away and does his best to care... See full summary »

Director: Luis Puenzo
Stars: William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr
Old Gringo (1989)
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Puenzo
Stars: Jane Fonda, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Smits
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

During the final months of Argentinian Military Dictatorship in 1983, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.

Director: Luis Puenzo
Stars: Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, Chunchuna Villafañe
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

For financial reasons an unemployed aspiring actor works for a phone-sex enterprise. One day he receives a call from the mysterious wife of one of his best clients.

Director: Manuel Gómez Pereira
Stars: Javier Bardem, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Josep Maria Flotats
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An unknown actress falls in love with a famous actor. After getting married, she realizes she has fell in love with a character her future husband plays and not with the real person.

Director: Juan Taratuto
Stars: Adrián Suar, Valeria Bertuccelli, Gerardo Romano
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde, a person who observes his own failure with ironic distance and regards the difficulties that beset his life with detachment and humor.

Director: Rupert Everett
Stars: Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett
The Frost (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A couple's marriage falls apart after the death of their son. Based on Henrik Ibsen's "Little Eyolf".

Director: Ferran Audí
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Jordi Cortés, Roger Loscertales
Las sorpresas (1975)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

"The Surprises" is an episode film. In the episode Five Years of Life an unknown man and woman spend a night locked in a subway station. In Corazonada, a domestic employee takes revenge on ... See full summary »

Directors: Alberto Fischerman, Carlos Galettini, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Juana Hidalgo, Edgardo Lusi, Cecilia Rossetto
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Sasha is a boy in his twenties, deeply loving the beautiful Benedetta, who doesn't seem to recognize his existence. Nicole is a French woman in her forties, living in Rome with her husband.... See full summary »

Director: Silvio Muccino
Stars: Silvio Muccino, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Carolina Crescentini
Wild Things (1998)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A police detective uncovers a conspiracy behind a case involving a high-school guidance counselor when accusations of rape are made against him by two female students.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Neve Campbell, Matt Dillon
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Arturo is an unscrupulous art dealer and Renzo his socially-awkward painter and longtime friend. Willing to risk it all, they develop an extreme and ludicrous plan to save themselves.

Director: Gastón Duprat
Stars: Andrea Acatto, Lucas Aranda, Raúl Arévalo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: Luis Puenzo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo Sbaraglia ... Emilio / Photographer
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón ... Vera
Pep Munné ... Jordi / Publisher
Mercè Llorens Mercè Llorens ... Lola / Dolores / Prostitute / Emilio's lover
Martín Caloni Martín Caloni ... Juanito / Vera's son
Pompeyo Audivert ... Orestes / Pilot
Miguel Ángel Solá ... Suárez / Musician
Nicolás Tognola Nicolás Tognola ... El Pibe Pedro / Pedro the kid
Belén Blanco Belén Blanco ... Matilde / Dancer
Lydia Lamaison ... Matilde / Old / Woman in hospital
Carola Reyna ... Meme
Edward Nutkiewicz Edward Nutkiewicz ... Ernesto / Suárez's grandson
Óscar Guzmán Óscar Guzmán ... Urondo
Natalia Otero Natalia Otero ... Prostituta 1
Nina Krakoff Nina Krakoff ... Prostitute 2


Vera's, a Spanish journalist and writer former publisher brings her a suitcase with old photographs and letters and asks her to travel to Argentina to write a story about the man and the woman in the photos. So she goes from Madrid to Buenos Aires to Patagonia on the trail of a seventy-year-old story involving a love letter, old photographs, a whale, a bordello and Tango. There she learns that she has hereditary breast cancer, and soon after she crosses a line and suddenly she is in hospital, has already been operated upon, and determines that from now on she will do exactly as she likes. She has entered a world governed by her psychological needs, and suddenly 'coincidence' flowers around her. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Site [Argentina]


Argentina | Spain



Release Date:

1 April 2004 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

A Meretriz e a Baleia See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I'm free because I was born that way
17 April 2010 | by murray-morisonSee all my reviews

One of the beauties of this film is that it is shot in a location completely different to North America. The colours and contours of South America are an extraordinary backdrop to this meditative film on what it means to be a truly free spirit. What happens to such a person if they are betrayed, in the one case by a lover and in the other case, by an illness.

A novelist, goes on an assignment to write about certain photographs from the 1930's and through a mixture of fortune and persistence comes across a tangled tale of love and betrayal from that turbulent era. Aitana Sánchez-Gijón very convincingly plays the novelist who discovers she has cancer whilst on her assignment. Gradually, through her own pain and despair, she learns the truth about La Puta, the Whore, ably depicted by Mercè Llorens. The 1930's in a remote part of Patagonia, is recreated in a way that gradually illustrates the danger that lurks in the extraordinary dance, the Argentine Tango.

This is not a perfect film but it is powerful and well worth watching. The themes of being stranded, the nature of freedom and love, weave throughout this nicely nuanced drama. "I'm not free because they let me go; I'm free because I was born that way" is one of the more powerful quotes in the film.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed