Talk to Her

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For the song by Priestess, see Hello Master.
Talk to Her
Talk to Her English movie poster fairuse.jpg
US theatrical release poster
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Produced by Agustín Almodóvar
Michel Ruben
Written by Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Javier Cámara
Darío Grandinetti
Leonor Watling
Geraldine Chaplin
Rosario Flores
Music by Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by José Salcedo
Production
  company
El Deseo S.A.
Distributed by Warner Sogefilms (Spain)
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
Release date(s)
  • 15 March 2002 (2002-03-15) (Spain)
  • 30 April 2002 (2002-04-30) (Telluride)
Running time 112 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Box office $51,001,550

Talk to Her (Spanish: Hable con ella) is a 2002 Spanish drama written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rosario Flores. The film won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

The film's themes include the difficulty of communication between the sexes, loneliness and intimacy, and the persistence of love beyond loss.

In 2005, Time magazine film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel included Talk to Her in their list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Movies.[1] Paul Schrader placed the film at 46 on his film canon of the 60 greatest films.[2]

Plot[edit]

The story unfolds in flashbacks, giving details of two separate relationships that become intertwined with each other.

During a dance recital, Benigno Martín and Marco Zuluaga cross paths but the two men are no more than strangers, but Benigno notices that Marco cries.

Marco is a journalist and travel writer who happens to see a TV interview of Lydia González, a famous matador. He thinks that an article on the female matador would be interesting and on the instructions of his editor, he contacts her in a bar where she asks him to take her to her house. As they talk she elaborates on the fact that she broke up with her boyfriend “El Niño de Rivera”, another matador, something that has been all over the tabloids; as Marco confesses that he knows nothing of bullfighting and that he is a journalist, she becomes angry and leaves his car without saying a word. As he drives off, he hears a scream inside her house and stops, Lydia rushes off and climbs back into his car, she asks him to kill a snake that she found in her house, he does so and comes out of the house crying. With that new confidence established between them they become friends and, later on, lovers. Marco attends a wedding in Toledo and is surprised to find Lydia there too, since she had said that she did not want to go. The wedding turns out to be of Marco’s former fiancé who had the same phobia to snakes as Lydia, Marco was very much in love with her and had a very hard time getting over her (which was the reason for his constant crying over things he could not share with her), Lydia says that she has something important to say but she prefers to wait until after the bull-fight that afternoon but she is gored and becomes comatose. Marco does not leave her side at the hospital and finally befriends Benigno, who recognized him from the dance recital. Marco is told by the doctors that people in coma never wake up but that there are miracle-stories of people who have come back but that he should not keep his hopes high.

Benigno is a personal nurse and caregiver for Alicia Roncero, a beautiful dance student who lies in a coma, but Benigno sees her as alive and he talks his heart out to her patient and brings her all kinds of dancing and silent black and white film mementos. As it turns out, Benigno had been obsessed with Alicia for a while before she was in a coma, since his apartment is in front of the dance studio where she practiced every day. At first his obsession is only from a distance, since Benigno takes care of his possessive mother who seems to be immobilized, for this reason is that he became a nurse and also beautician. After his mother died he was free to move about and finally picked up the courage to talk to Alicia after she dropped her wallet on the street. As they walk together to her house, they talk about her discovery of mute black and white films and dancing. When she walks into her building, Benigno notices that she lives in Dr. Roncero’s house, who is a psychiatrist. He makes an appointment to see the doctor and talks about his unresolved bereavement over his mother, but it all is a ruse to gain access to the apartment where he steals a hair-clip from Alicia’s room. That night Alicia was run over a car and became comatose, by mere chance Benigno was assigned to Alicia much to the surprise of her father but since Benigno’s services are the best, he hires him and a colleague permanently to tend for Alicia. Benigno also lies to her father that he is homosexual so her father wouldn't suspect his love to her.

Benigno keeps telling Marco that he should talk to Lydia, because despite the fact that they are in a coma, women understand and react to men’s problems. Marco learns from Niño de Rivera that he and Lydia had decided to be together again but she had not told him, so Marco finds himself alone again, as he is about to leave he comes into Alicia’s room looking for Benigno, but he instead finds himself opening his heart out to her despite his scepticism over Benigno’s theories. Benigno and Marco leave the hospital and in the parking lot Benigno tells Marco of his plans to marry Alicia, but Marco is taken aback, telling his friend that Alicia is basically dead and cannot express her will in any manner but Benigno does not hear any reason. During a routine review at the hospital the supervisors notice that Alicia has missed several periods but since this is a common occurrence with people in coma they do not think twice over it. However, Alicia is pregnant and an investigation ensues where Benigno is the main suspect.

Marco has left Spain to write a book about travelling, and months later, in Jordan, he reads in a newspaper that Lydia has finally died, having never awakened from the coma. He phones the hospital looking for Benigno but all he is told is that he does not work there anymore, he manages to find another nurse that he had befriended who tells him that Benigno is in prison for the rape of Alicia. Marco returns to Spain and visits Benigno who asks him to hire a new lawyer and find out what happened to Alicia. Marco stays in Benigno’s apartment and sees that Alicia has awakened during or sometime after giving birth, but the baby was stillborn and died. Following Benigno's lawyer's urging, he does not tell Benigno about her unexpected recovery. Desperate, Benigno writes a suicide letter to Marco and ingests a large quantity of pills to try to "escape" and reunite with Alicia. He dies of an overdose.

Meanwhile, Alicia has begun rehabilitation to recover her ability to walk and dance. The film ends in the same theatre where it began, where Marco and Alicia meet by chance.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Talk to Her received positive reviews, as it currently holds a 92% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Another masterful, compassionate work from Pedro Almodóvar."[3] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film holds an 86/100, indicating "universal acclaim".[4] Despite the film's success, Talk to Her wasn't submitted as Spain's pick for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, as Mondays in the Sun.

The film was a commercial success, grossing $9,285,469 in the United States and $41,716,081 internationally for a worldwide total of $51,001,550.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Wins
Nominations

References[edit]

  1. ^ Corliss, Richard (23 January 2012). "Talk to Her | All-TIME 100 Movies | Entertainment". Time. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Jeffrey M. (24 July 2011). "Paul Schrader's Film Canon – The Moviefone Blog". Cinematical.com. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Talk to Her at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ Talk to Her at Metacritic
  5. ^ Talk to Her at Box Office Mojo

External links[edit]