Mexican beauty Camilla Lopez (Salma Hayek) hopes to rise above her station by marrying a wealthy American. That is complicated by meeting Arturo Bandini (Colin Farrell), 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
Dionysio Basco ... Filipino Houseboy (as Dion Basco)
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

Los Angeles, California in the early 1930s: racism, poverty, and disease color the Bunker Hill neighborhood where Arturo Bandini (Colin Farrell), 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 (Salma Hayek), beautiful, self-possessed, and Mexican. Arturo gets advice, encouragement, and an occasional check from H.L. Mencken (Richard Schickel), 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. See more »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Farrell admitted to romantically pursuing Dame Eileen Atkins on-set despite their forty-two year age difference. She turned him down. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Arturo Bandini: When I was a kid, back in Colorado, it was Smith, Parker and Jones who hurt me with their hideous names. Who called me wop and dago and greaser, and their children hurt me. Just as I hurt you. They hurt me so much, I could never become one of them. Drove me to books, drove me within myself. Drove me to run away from that town in Colorado, into your home and into your life. And sometimes, when I see their faces out here, the same faces, the same sad, hard mouths from my hometown. I'm...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on the pages of the book Ask the Dust, as someone flips through the first few pages. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
by Bennie Benjamin, Eddie Durham, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler
Performed by Jess Harnell
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User Reviews

A welcome return of the film maker who truly understands L.A.
26 January 2005 | by das04747See all my reviews

Is Robert Towne L.A.'s Woody Allen? His portraits of the city are indelible, and one of the chief pleasures of Ask the Dust is the way in which the depression-era City of Angels becomes a character in the film. Ask the Dust is haunted by the notion that L.A. is the place where people come to slowly die in the sunshine and is fascinating as a piece of "sunny" film noir. It also explores themes of racism, prejudice and self-esteem and how they manifest themselves in personal relationships. There's a daring ugliness to the romance that makes the first third of the film especially compelling. The scene where Arturo Bandini and Camilla Lopez first meet is pure cinema and one of the more remarkable bits of mainstream film making I've seen in some time. In its way, it is as sublime as Brassai's photos of café-society Paris. In the work print I viewed, Ask the Dust wasn't able to sustain this opening intensity, but it managed to stay compelling nevertheless. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay Ask the Dust is that it reminded me why Chinatown is such a great film (and the comparisons will be inevitable); while I don't think Ask the Dust is in the same league, it does herald the welcome return of Robert Towne as an artist who understands L.A. by instinct, knows how to tap into Hollywood's rich history, and can deliver a human-scale film with the power to reward and possibly even change its audience.


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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 April 2006 (Thailand) See more »

Also Known As:

Ask the Dust See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,779, 12 March 2006

Gross USA:

$743,847

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,460,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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