5.8/10
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Ask the Dust (2006)

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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.

Director:

Robert Towne

Writers:

Robert Towne (screenplay), John Fante (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Arturo Bandini
Salma Hayek ... Camilla
Donald Sutherland ... Hellfrick
Eileen Atkins ... Mrs. Hargraves
Idina Menzel ... Vera Rivkin
Justin Kirk ... Sammy
Jeremy Crutchley ... Solomon
Ronald France Ronald France ... Columbia Sweeper
Dion Basco ... Filipino Houseboy
Donna Mosley Donna Mosley ... Red Headed Girl
Paul Rylander Paul Rylander ... Harold the Bartender
Natasha Staples Natasha Staples ... Denver Librarian
Wayne Harrison Wayne Harrison ... Heilman
Yasuhiro Yoshimura Yasuhiro Yoshimura ... Japanese Vegetable Man (as Yoshimura Yasuhiro)
Sid Sid ... Willie the Dog
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion and ambition drive two dreamers in 1930s LA. Their love affair is ferocious and hot-blooded as they fight the city and themselves to make their dreams come true.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 April 2006 (Thailand) See more »

Also Known As:

Pregúntale al viento See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,779, 12 March 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$742,614, 14 May 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Idina Menzel had to leave her starring role in the Broadway show "Wicked" for a few weeks to film in South Africa. See more »

Quotes

Arturo Bandini: Take a look in the mirror.
Camilla: I don't want to look in the mirror.
Arturo Bandini: I don't blame you.
See more »

Connections

References The Sin of Nora Moran (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Gloomy Sunday
by László Jávor (as Laszlo Javor), Sam Lewis (as Sam M. Lewis) & Rezsö Seress (as Rezso Seress)
Performed by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
Courtesy of Bluebird/Novus/RCA Victor
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The verbal firework between Farrel and Hayak is a huge plus!
30 June 2007 | by Ryu_DarkwoodSee all my reviews

This is a portrayal of people living on the downside of society during the Great Depression; a nice period in time for movies, that offers a pleasantly raw and nihilistic ambiance. Both characters- the writer with more aspirations than experiences to actually write about (Colin Farrel) and the beautiful yet grieving Mexican beauty (Salma Hayek) - wander through the sad streets of L.A, fighting each other and mostly themselves. They love each other, but their own low self esteem and prejudices are standing in the way to form a happy couple. At the core this is just a tragic love story about unreachable love. Nothing wrong with that, of course!

I really enjoyed the verbal confrontations between Hayek and Farrel. Their failure to communicate as equals is ''delightfully sad ''. At a certain point, as they start to understand each other better, they start to talk as normal people, and at that point the story didn't quite get to me as it did before. What remains is a somewhat melodramatic and predictable piece of drama. It isn't necessarily bad, just not that exciting anymore. Sometimes I even checked the time on my DVD player just to see if it would be over soon. Not a very good sign...;)

Ah well, I enjoyed it too much to be cynical about it. It has some marvelous scenes in it, with an atmosphere that really brings back the sense of being in LA during the Great Depression. Farrel and Hayek fitted in their roles perfectly, and it is a pleasure to watch these two beautiful people interact with each other. Donald Sutherland steals the show with a short yet highly enjoyable role.


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