Ask the Dust (film)

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Ask the Dust
Ask the dust film.jpg
The movie poster for Ask the Dust.
Directed by Robert Towne
Produced by Tom Cruise
Jonas McCord
Paula Wagner
Screenplay by Robert Towne
Based on Ask the Dust by John Fante
Starring Colin Farrell
Salma Hayek
Donald Sutherland
Idina Menzel
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Heitor Pereira
Distributed by Paramount Classics (USA)
Pathé (UK)
Release date(s)
  • March 17, 2006 (2006-03-17)
Running time 117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,460,057

Ask the Dust is a 2006 American film based on the book Ask the Dust by John Fante. The film was written and directed by Robert Towne. Tom Cruise (with Paula Wagner and Cruise/Wagner Productions) served as one of the film's producers. The film was released on a limited basis on March 17, 2006 and was entered into the 28th Moscow International Film Festival.[1] It was filmed almost entirely in South Africa with the use of stages to portray Los Angeles.

Plot[edit]

The story is set during the Great Depression, specifically around the time of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Camilla (Salma Hayek) is a fiery, beautiful Mexican café waitress who aspires one day to be above her current standing in society. She wishes to do this by marrying a wealthy man from the United States. Her plan is thrown into disarray when she meets Italian-American Arturo Bandini (Colin Farrell). Farrell's character is portrayed as a struggling writer who comes to Los Angeles's Bunker Hill area to start his writing career. Though he falls in love, he does not marry her. Later, Camilla is infected by T.B. and she leaves Arturo without informing him. When Arturo finds her, she is about to die and he promises to marry her, but Camilla dies and Arturo writes a novel dedicated to Camilla. In the book Camilla was always in love with Sammy, a bartender where she worked and wanna be writer. She only used Arturo as a fill-in because Sammy was not in love with her but Arturo's ego would not allow him to believe she did not really care for him. Eventually, because of her unrequited love for Sammy she had to be committed to a mental hospital from which she escapes and goes back to Sammy out in the desert. Sammy rejects her again and she wanders off into the desert (she didn't have TB)never to be heard from again. Arturo shows up and Sammy tells him what happened. Arturo writes a dedication in one of his books to her and throws it into the sand. The End. Moral of the story: never fall in love with someone who doesn't love you.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Part of the film was shot at Pinelands High School, on fields modified to simulate a Los Angeles scenery.[2]

Film delays[edit]

The rights to the novel once belonged to Mel Brooks, though he let them lapse. Towne met Fante in the 1970s. This meeting led to his interest in the project. Despite finishing the script in the early 1990s, he couldn't find financial backing from a studio. During this time, Farrell's role was originally set to be played by Johnny Depp but he dropped out. Later Val Kilmer accepted the role and also dropped out. Another delay was Hayek initially rejecting the role to avoid being typecast as a Mexican immigrant. She accepted the role eight years later.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received negative to mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 35% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 104 reviews.[3] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 58 out of 100, based on 33 reviews.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "28th Moscow International Film Festival (2006)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  2. ^ "Pinelands High School, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Ask the Dust Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ "Ask the Dust (2006): Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 

External links[edit]