Almodover at his very best.
He's made many good films, of which two are really great, and this is one of them. The other, The Law of Desire, is early, edgy, and has proved a seed-bed for much that's excellent in films that were to come - it's even semi-quoted from in his very latest, The Skin that I live in.
What makes Talk to Her so special and so attractive is its scope, and confidence. The situation is unusual, exceptional - two young women each in a coma from which no recovery is likely, two men attempting to communicate to them support and affection. One of the women is a would-be ballerina, the other a female bull-fighter. One of the men is a kindly but simple nurse, the other a journalist who carries his own confusions and disappointments. Their separate stories are interesting, but what makes the film great are the cross-overs between their stories, cross-overs full of feeling, emotion and unexpected cross-connection.
The performances are outstanding, the level of affection that emerges is unusual and very winning. The cinematography is breath-taking in sheer loveliness. The Pina Bausch ballets, the Caetano Veloso song and the very funny silent movie are wonderful punctuation points help draw the strands together even more.
The final sequences between Benigno and Marco are pure heart-break.
it's no surprise this film won the popular vote across Europe for film of the year, and one Oscar seems hardly enough.
Not all of Almodovar works to its full effect on the small screen, but this one does, and the dvd transfer is excellent. It's one to watch over and over again, for sure.