29 December 2001 | OldRose
Revisionistic, but very well acted!
There is no question that director Vicente Aranda has taken considerable liberty with generally accepted history, but despite this and a few flaws within the context of certain scenes, what we have is an excellent story, and one very well recounted and acted.
It will come as absolutely no surprise for those who have seen this film to know that Pilar Lopez de Ayala (as Juana I) and Rosana Pastor (Elvira, Head of Queen´s Household) are nominated in the lead and supporting categories of the Spanish Goya Film Awards, and, despite having been ignored by the Golden Globes, this film should be in contention for Oscar Consideration as Spain´s representation for the "Best Foreign Film" of 2001. Frankly, the performances just mentioned were so stunning, especially Pilar Lopez de Ayala, that I would consider her among nominees for Best Actress at the Oscars, not only given the absolutely pathetic list the Golden Globes presented in the Drama category, but simply because Pilar Lopez de Ayala DESERVES IT, much as did Fernanda Montenegro in the Brazilian masterpiece "Central Do Brazil" just a few years back.
For the historians among the viewing public, my recommendation is to simply look the other way on the bit of revisionism on display, given that far greater crimes have been committed by Hollywood as regards same. The story is excellent, the costumes & design, art direction, cinematography, and above all film editing are simply tops -- and film editing has been a GREAT problem in US films in recent times. Go and see it and I DO MEAN the original version! Rating = 4 stars (of five).