Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Spain, 1987. El Deseo, Laurenfilm. Story and Screenplay by Pedro Almodovar. Cinematography by Angel Luis Fernandez. Production Design by Javier Fernández. Costume Design by Jose Maria de Cossio. Film Editing by José Salcedo.
As with Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! three years later, this Pedro Almodovar film features explicit eroticism coupled with zesty characters and real romance. Eusebio Poncela plays a Madrid filmmaker who enjoys his work, his success, and the healthy amount of handsome male fans he can sleep with thanks to his fame. Having just been left by a longtime lover and feeling vulnerable, he takes home an unstable young man (Antonio Banderas) who turns out to be pathologically jealous and criminally insane. The always marvelous Carmen Maura brings lightness to the proceedings as Poncela’s insecure transsexual sister, who is trying to raise her delightful daughter as a good mother now that she’s no longer a father, plus reconcile her past with her personal feelings of doubt at the same time. The film’s kinky sexiness is reminiscent of Bunuel, as most early Almodovar is, but the skillful handling of arousing imagery and genuinely felt emotions are purely the master’s own.