Before Night Falls (2000)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, Romance


Before Night Falls (2000) Poster

The life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas.

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7.3/10
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  • Johnny Depp in Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Barbara Eden at an event for Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Nathan West at an event for Before Night Falls (2000)
  • Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls (2000)

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28 August 2005 | paul2001sw-1
8
| Slow but beautiful
The little-discussed topic of the persecution of homosexuals in Castro's Cuba is the prevailing theme throughout Julan Schnabel's masterful film of the life of writer Reinaldo Arenas. But this is far more than a simple piece of political agit-prop; instead, it's a beautifully constructed movie about the artistic temperament but with plenty of the same quality itself; visually, the movie is consistently striking, and yet of a piece. There's also a fine performance from Javier Bardem in the lead role. What the film doesn't do very much is follow it's characters in real time for anything longer than the duration of a snapshot; this slightly distances the viewer from the mechanics of the drama, and in consequence, at times it feels slow. Instead, it communicates through images (and fragments of the writer's own poetry); and the scene where the hot air balloon rises through the roof of a ruined church is so perfectly created it's a work of art in itself. 'Before Night Falls' is not light entertainment; but it's seriously good.

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