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.
As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel.
David Kepesh is growing old. He's a professor of literature, a student of American hedonism, and an amateur musician and photographer. When he finds a student attractive, Consuela, a 24-year-old Cuban, he sets out to seduce her. Along the way, he swims in deeper feelings, maybe he's drowning. She presses him to sort out what he wants from her, and a relationship develops. They talk of traveling. He confides in his friend, George, a poet long-married, who advises David to grow up and grow old. She invites him to meet her family. His own son, from a long-ended marriage, confronts him. Is the elegy for lost relationships, lost possibilities, beauty and time passing, or failure of nerve?Written by
David (Sir Ben Kingsley) tells Consuela that she looks like Goya's Maja Desnuda. Penélope Cruz (Consuela) plays Pepita Tudó in Volavérunt (1999), possibly a model for the Maja Desnuda. See more »
At one point Ben Kingsley says to Penelope Cruz, "The beast with two backs. Where's that from?" She answers Shakespeare and he agrees that it's from Othello. The fact is that Shakespeare borrowed it from the original author, Francois Rabelais. The phrase appears in French as "la bête à deux dos" in Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1532. See more »
I don't know how to relate to you, Kenny? You're so *morally* superior to me in every way, even our adulteries can't compare. Yours plays the oboe, what have I got to put up against that? She probably writes poetry in her spare time, and her kids do too.
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OK. Professor starts an affair with one of his students. You may have prejudices about that. Not about this kind of affairs, but about this kind of movies.
But it's a story about aging and jealousy and so far touching. The professor goes through hell, including all objections he's supposed to have about his own behavior in this certainly true love. A love which is regarded as ridiculous. Most so by himself.
Cruz and Kingsley are great as you could expect, but the greatest performance is delivered by Dennis Hopper. A certain amount of sentimentality is a little disturbing, but this film obviously takes aging as an emotional problem seriously.
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