Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 2000. El Mar Pictures, Grandview Pictures. Screenplay by Cunningham O’Keefe, Lazaro Gomez Carriles, Julian Schnabel, based on the memoir by Reynaldo Arenas, and the documentary Havana by Jana Bokova. Cinematography by Xavier Grobet, Guillermo Rosas. Produced by Jon Kilik. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Salvador Parra. Costume Design by María Estela Fernández. Film Editing by Michael Berenbaum.
Gorgeous adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ best-selling autobiography of the same name. Javier Bardem gives a towering performance as Arenas, the Cuban poet who found himself constantly in a state of being unwanted by the world around him, and yet still retained the ability to see the beauty in it. Using stock footage of Castro’s military-ruled Cuba, a haunting score by Carter Burwell (with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson), and many cameos by famous actors (Sean Penn being the only one that really misfires, Michael Wincott being an exceptionally good one), director Julian Schnabel has created one of the most touching, affecting and polished film works of its year. Johnny Depp stands out in a small role.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Actor (Javier Bardem)
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Actor-Drama (Javier Bardem)
Toronto International Film Festival: 2000
Venice Film Festival Awards: Grand Special Jury Prize; Best Actor (Javier Bardem)