(out of 5)
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.
Directed by Julian Schnabel
Produced by Jon Kilik
Music by Carter Burwell
Production Design by Salvador Parra
Costume Design by María Estela Fernández
Film Editing by Michael Berenbaum