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lMovie Review
Talk to Her
By Mira Harber

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar has been nominated for Best Director for his superb direction of the wonderful film Talk to Her. 

Two men meet in a hospital - they don't initially realize that they had previously met at a dance recital - an almost unbearably sad and moving recital that brings one of the men to tears. The women they are caring for are in comas. Benigno (Javier Camara) is a dedicated, devoted male nurse. He is in love with his charge Alicia. She was a ballerina who he once watched from his apartment window - her teacher's (Geraldine Page) studio was across the street. Benigno watched Alicia practice by the window day in-day out. One day she is not there. She has been in a car accident and is in a coma and taken to the hospital where he works. He is hired by her father (along with another nurse) to care for as a full-time private nurse. He has lovingly cared for her four years - doing all the routine medical care, but more importantly he talks to her. He shares his heart and innermost secrets with her as he lovingly combs her hair or massages her hands. In fact, he would like to marry her - he thinks they get along much better than most married couples. This is typical Almodovar territory - sex is always an important part of the story, and some of the devotion displayed does seem to have gone awry and could even veer into kinky.

Marco (Dario Grandinetti) is a sad, cynical travel writer who falls in love with Lydia (Rosaria Flores) a female matador he has gone to write a story about. She is devastated at her rejection by a fellow matador and consoles herself with Marco. She is glamorous, angry, emotional and impetuous. When Lydia is gored by a bull in the ring, both matador and writer think that they are at fault. Marco visits Lydia daily in the hospital, but he is new at this, and not yet very good at what to do, or how to act. Benigno tells him that he must talk to her, as he does to his patient Alicia. Soon the two men become friends, and the two women in comas, are introduced (in a way) to each other, and even sit outside in lawn-chairs, soaking up fresh air and sunshine (wrapped up lovingly by their care-givers) who talk to them and each other.

This is a sensitive, deeply touching film, made by a gay man who loves women. It could've veered off into super-over-the top melodrama, but doesn't.  Talk to Her is inspiring and heart moving. In Spanish with sub-titles - a must-see film.


 
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