Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
France/USA, 1992. Alcor Films, Canal+, Regency Enterprises, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Cynthia Cidre, based on the novel by Oscar Hijuelos. Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus. Produced by Arne Glimcher, Arnon Milchan. Music by Carlos Franzetti, Robert Kraft. Production Design by Stuart Wurtzel. Costume Design by Gary Jones, Bridget Kelly, Ann Roth. Film Editing by Claire Simpson.
Sturdy, enjoyable adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is best remembered for its introducing sexy Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas to English-speaking cinema. He and Armand Assante play Cuban musicians living in Miami whose various life experiences lead them through various volatile relationships and eventually to their big break playing their tunes on I Love Lucy. Banderas, who had to learn his lines phonetically due to his still-primitive English, is excellent as the softer, younger sibling, while Assante’s strong presence lends considerable believability to his portrayal of the older, more brutish brother. Also starring Cathy Moriarty and featuring cameos by Latin superstars Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, this solid drama is further accentuated by the excellent theme song ‘Beautiful Maria Of My Soul’.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Song (“Beautiful Maria Of My Soul”)
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Original Song (“Beautiful Maria Of My Soul”)