Before Night Falls (2000)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

USA, 2000.  El Mar Pictures, Grandview Pictures.  Screenplay by , , Julian Schnabel, based on the memoir by , and the documentary Havana by .  Cinematography by , .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Gorgeous adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ best-selling autobiography of the same name.  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 ( being the only one that really misfires,  being an exceptionally good one), director Julian Schnabel has created one of the most touching, affecting and polished film works of its year. 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)


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