Pedro Almodóvar’s medical melodrama is a typically challenging tale of loss, love and transgression.
“[The] performances of the body become ways of communicating with others. The idea of the body as the authentic instrument of narration ultimately holds the distinct parts of the film together.” Marvin D’Lugo, Pedro Almodóvar, 2006 Over his career, Pedro Almodóvar has returned again and again to certain tropes and motifs: the narrative that loops back to consume itself, the ostensibly sympathetic figure whose placid appearance hides aberrant yearnings and actions, and the slippery dynamics of power in romantic relationships and medical facilities. Talk to Her combines all these in typically beguiling fashion, if one that some critics found a touch too machine-tooled in comparison with the director’s best earlier work. The interlocking narratives of Talk To Her concern two men, a nurse (Javier Cámara) and a journalist (Darío Grandinetti), who find themselves tending comatose objects of affection. There are revelations, betrayals and turnarounds, set against beautiful natural and architectural backdrops, and orchestrated in ways to keep the viewer at once transfixed and repelled. Almodóvar cited as influential Michael Cunningham’s multi-perspective novel The Hours (itself filmed in 2002). Another Almodóvar film with a strong hospital theme is The Skin I Live In (2011).
2002 Spain
Directed by
Pedro Almodóvar
Written by
Pedro Almodóvar
Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling
Running time
113 minutes