100 Movies You Need to See Before You Die

Talk to Her (2002)

Country: Spain
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Screenwriter: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, Rosario Flores

Almodóvar's 2002 masterpiece centers around the friendship between Benigno and Marco, two men caring for women in comas. Marco attends to Lydia, a matador, who was about to leave him; Benigno, a nurse, has formed a delusional relationship with Alicia, the dancer he obsessed over from afar.

Out of this ridiculous set-up, Talk to Her becomes one of the most probing looks at compassion Almodóvar has ever produced. It's also got the weird sexual stuff and loving nods to film the Spanish filmmaker is known for, sometimes at the same  time: There's a hilarious silent film within the film where a tiny man climbs into the vagina of a sleeping woman.

The film succeeds in making the viewer feel pity and even love for a man who has committed a vile act. The level of control required for such a reaction has few precedents, making it one of the most unique experiences in cinema. Considering that he made this coming off the heels of All About My Mother, his best work to date at the time, makes Talk to Her all the more impressive.

 For his efforts, Almodóvar won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. —GT

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