Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
Argentina/USA, 1994. Aleph Producciones S.A., Argentina Espanola, Miramax, Pandora Cinema. Screenplay by Donald Freed, based on the book by Isabel Allende. Cinematography by Felix Monti. Produced by Richard B. Goodwin, Betty Kaplan, Paul Mayersohn. Music by José Nieto. Production Design by Abel Facello. Costume Design by Beatriz De Benedetto. Film Editing by Bill Butler, Kathryn Himoff.
If you thought Bille August’s adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits was bad, wait until you see this stinker. Atrociously written and directed, this screen version of Allende’s similarily-titled novel stars a painfully miscast Jennifer Connelly as a South American journalist who investigates the sudden appearance of dead bodies in a mountainside in rural Chile. She takes her hunky photographer (Antonio Banderas) with her to assist in finding out more information about an increasingly dangerous subject, then makes sure to have explicit sex with him on cave floors. Allende’s novel was a political and erotic drama, fascinating in character depth and rich historical texture; Betty Kaplan’s film is a soft-core idiocy.