The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
Proudly Spewing Unsolicited Film Opinion Online Since 1996
BEFORE NIGHT FALLS
March 10, 2001
-->Directed.....Julian Schnabel [Basquiat]
-->Reinaldo Arenas.....Javier Bardem [High Heels]
-->Lazaro Gomez Carilles.....Oliver Martinez [sleeping with Juliette Binoche on a nightly basis, Le Hussard Sur Le Toit (The Horseman On The Roof), La Femme De Chambre Du Titanic (The Chambermaid On The Titanic)]
-->Johnny Depp [A Nightmare On Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands, Benny & Joon, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Dead Man, Nick Of Time, Donnie Brasco, Sleepy Hollow, Chocolat]
-->Sean Penn [Taps, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Bad Boys, Racing With The Moon, The Falcon And The Snowman, At Close Range, Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, Colors, Casualties Of War, We're No Angels, State Of Grace, Carlito's Way, The Crossing Guard, Dead Man Walking, She's So Lovely, U-Turn, The Game, The Thin Red Line]
The story of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas.
Acting tour-de-force by Bardem makes this a compelling story. How did artists, especially gay artists fare when Castro came to power? His childhood is unhappy and poor. Only when he gets to university does he begin to shine as a writer. He is celebrated by other members of the literati, but shunned by freedom fighters as being too soft. There is poetry mixed in with the filmmaking. There is love and sex and prison and humor all kept together by the acting skill of Javier Bardem. I've seen all the nominated performances besides POLLACK and my personal oscar goes to Bardem after seeing this film.