The Essential Movie Library #52: Talk to Her (2002) - The Culture Files Blog - Los Angeles magazine
 
 

The Essential Movie Library #52: Talk to Her (2002)

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's masterpiece, about men trying to communicate with the literally comatose women they love.

A real-life man of La Mancha, where he was born, Pedro Almodóvar can be called a quixotic filmmaker in both his intentions and processes, having schooled himself on the cinema of Buñuel, Hitchcock, George Cukor, and German renegade Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose sensibility the Spanish filmmaker most shares albeit with an outrageous sense of humor thrown into the mix. Almodóvar makes movies that are a great mess, which is to say that sometimes they’re greater than they are messy (All About My Mother) and sometimes they’re messier than they are great (Women on the Verge of a Breakdown); for someone growing up gay in a country so Catholic where memories of Franco aren’t yet dim enough, the messier that art is, the truer. 

Almodóvar is always redeemed by a generosity of spirit—one is hard-pressed to remember a truly mean moment in any of his pictures—and Talk to Her, which is no mess and all great, is his masterpiece, about men trying to communicate with the literally comatose women they love. Here everything comes together with the sort of assurance that feels no compulsion to explain emotional unquantifiables, particularly in a story about the secrets we’re entitled to keep even from those we love, and the secrets that, kept with those we love, constitute a breach of faith. Talk to Her feels at once millennial and timeless in the way its various narratives loop their revelations möbius-like, and its own secret is that the heart won’t be denied in even the craziest of centuries.

Read them all:
The Essential Movie LIbrary #51: To Be or Not To Be
The Essential Movie Library #50: The Battle of Algiers
The Essential Movie Library #49: Notorious
The Essential Movie Library #48: Wings of Desire
The Essential Movie Library #47: L'Avventura
The Essential Movie Library #46: Malcolm X
The Essential Movie Library #45: In the Mood for Love
The Essential Movie Library #44: Touch of Evil
The Essential Movie Library #43: Once Upon A Time in the West
The Essential Movie Library #42: Belle de Jour
The Essential Movie Library #41: Apocalypse Now
The Essential Movie Library #40: Out of the Past
The Essential Movie Library #39: Branded to Kill
The Essential Movie Library #38: The General
The Essential Movie Library #37: Lord of the Rings
The Essential Movie Library #36: Aguirre, the Wrath of God
The Essential Movie Library #35: Raging Bull
The Essential Movie Library #34: The Rules of the Game
The Essential Movie Library #33: Chinatown 
The Essential Movie Library #32: Stalker
The Essential Movie Library #31: Weekend
The Essential Movie Library #30: Some Like It Hot 
The Essential Movie Library #29: Red River
The Essential Movie Library #28: The Passenger
The Essential Movie Library #27: Singin' in the Rain
The Essential Movie Library #26: Heat
The Essential Movie Library #25: L'Atalante
The Essential Movie Library #24: Sunrise
The Essential Movie Library #23: His Girl Friday
The Essential Movie Library #22: Black Narcissus
The Essential Movie Library #21: Blade Runner
The Essential Movie Library #20: Persona
The Essential Movie Library #19: The Shop Around the Corner
The Essential Movie Library #18: Lost Highway
The Essential Movie Library #17: Tokyo Story
The Essential Movie Library #16: 8 1/2

The Essential Movie Library #15: City Lights
The Essential Movie Library #14: Seven Samurai
The Essential Movie Library #13: Lawrence of Arabia
The Essential Movie Library #12: Citizen Kane
The Essential Movie Library #11: Jules and Jim
The Essential Movie Library #10: My Darling Clementine 
The Essential Movie Library #9: Double Indemnity 
The Essential Movie Library #8: That Obscure Object of Desire 
The Essential Movie Library #7: 2001: A Space Odyssey 
The Essential Movie Library #6: Casablanca
The Essential Movie Library #5: The Lady Eve
The Essential Movie Library #4: The Third Man 
The Essential Movie Library #3: The Passion of Joan of Arc 
The Essential Movie Library #2: Vertigo 
The Essential Movie Library #1: The Godfather Trilogy

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