(out of 5)
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’.
Directed by Arne Glimcher
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus
Produced by Arne Glimcher, Arnon Milchan
Production Design by Stuart Wurtzel
Film Editing by Claire Simpson