Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Juana La Loca
Spain/Italy/Portugal, 2001. Canal+ España, Enrique Cerezo Producciones Cinematográficas S.A., Eurimages, Pedro Costa Producciones Cinematográficas S.A., Production Group, Sogepaq, Take 2000. Screenplay by Vicente Aranda, Antonio Larreta, based on the play La Locura de Amor by Manuel Tamayo y Baus. Cinematography by Paco Femenia. Produced by Enrique Cerezo. Music by José Nieto. Production Design by Josep Rosell. Costume Design by Javier Artinano. Film Editing by Teresa Font.
This affecting, handsomely mounted period drama delves into the life of Spain’s Queen Joan and wonders about the truth behind her famed insanity. Was she really an emotionally unstable woman, or was her incarceration in her castle a result of political greed on her court’s part? Pilar López de Ayala gives a fiery performance as the beautiful young queen who is unwittingly married to the handsome Philip of Denmark and finds herself obsessed with him both sexually and emotionally. Her desire for him to be always near her takes her away from her duties as monarch, leading those around her to believe her unfit for duty. When Philip is convinced to dethrone her and take the seat of Spain for himself, it begins a chain of events that lead to tragic circumstances. Passionate acting and beautiful production design abound, making for one of the richest experiences the genre has seen in a long while.