Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Spain/France, 1999. El Deseo, Renn Productions, France 2 Cinéma, Vía Digital. Screenplay by Pedro Almodovar. Cinematography by Affonso Beato. Music by Alberto Iglesias. Production Design by Antxon Gomez. Costume Design by Jose Maria de Cossio, Bina Daigeler. Film Editing by José Salcedo. Academy Awards 1999. Boston Film Critics Awards 1999. Cannes Film Festival 1999. Golden Globe Awards 1999. Independent Spirit Awards 1999. National Board of Review Awards 1999. New York Film Critics Awards 1999.
Pedro Almodovar offers us his best work yet with this touching and emotionally lyrical film about a nurse (Cecilia Roth in a world class performance) who leaves Madrid for Barcelona following a personal tragedy, looking to find the man with whom she has a story with loose ends. Instead of finding him, however, she befriends a down-on-her-luck transsexual (Antonia San Juan), an HIV-positive nun (Penelope Cruz) and a tragically unhappy actress (Marisa Paredes) with a drug-addicted girlfriend (Candela Peña). Almodovar once again gives dignity and grace to characters who would be seen as nothing more than sideshow freaks for someone else, creating real emotional life that overcomes the sometimes unimaginative plot. It has humour, charm and oh so much sexy elegance.