Talk to Her
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)
One of the quirks of the Oscar
nominations is a film that is nominated for Best Picture but not for
Best Director or vice versa. This year, four of the films nominated
for Best Picture are also nominated for Best Director. The
Two Towers is nominated for Best Picture but Peter Jackson was not
nominated for Best Director. That slot has been filled by Pedro Almodóvar,
the director of Talk to Her. He is also nominated for Best Screenplay.
Both of these nominations are unusual since Talk to Her is actually
Hable con ella, a Spanish film with subtitles. Films by Almodóvar
have been nominated twice for Best Foreign Film for Women
on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (lost), and All
About My Mother (won). But this year, for some reason, Talk
to Her was not the Spanish entry for Best Foreign Film.
The plot of Talk to Her is a bit, well, more than a bit surreal. It is the story of two men who are in love with two women. This is not too strange except for the fact that both of the women are in a coma. One of the men, a journalist (Dario Grandinetti), interviews a female bullfighter (Rosario Flores) and falls in love with her. Shortly thereafter, she is gored by a bull and ends up in a coma. At the hospital where she is taken, another woman (Leonor Watling) has been in a coma for years, all the time cared for by a male nurse (Javier Camara). The nurse has fallen in love with his patient. The nurse talks to his patient constantly while the journalist is reticent to talk to his comatose bullfighter honey. The two men meet while at the hospital and become friends. I don't want to spoil the film by saying anymore. Lots of life and death events ensue, including a man living in a vagina.
I didn't know any of the main actors in Talk to Her but then I didn't know Penelope Cruz before I saw All About my Mother. The two men are very likeable and have a nice chemistry together. They both project a lot of emotion through the screen. We see a few scenes where the women are awake but they spend most of their screen time comatose. There is one familiar face for the North American audience. Geraldine Chaplin, a veteran of many movies and daughter of Charlie, who appears as a ballet teacher.
Talk to Her is really nice little film. The twists and turns of the story keep it interesting and while it starts out almost like a comedy, it turns a little darker as the film goes on. Almodóvar makes great films and this one is no different. He deserves his Best Director nomination. Talk to Her is weird but wonderful.