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Goya's Ghosts

Hauntingly awful
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 18, 2007
1.5 1.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Goya's Ghosts.

There’s a ghost within Milos Forman’s latest, all right — it’s the looming specter of a once-great filmmaking talent rising after an eight-year silence, and the resulting folly is hauntingly awful. In its look, the film approaches Amadeus, but Forman’s script, written with Luis Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière (Belle de jour), is drawn from a soapy palette and compounded by dumfounding casting choices. Stellan Skarsgård’s Goya and Randy Quaid’s King Carlos IV add to the hilariously Python-worthy Inquisition-era Spain. Still, there is one profound marriage of actor to material: Javier Bardem rises above some shaky English as the soft-spoken, opportunistic devil, Brother Lorenzo. His political maneuvering finds Inés (Natalie Portman), Goya’s model and muse, imprisoned for heresy. After a short bout with nudity, Portman spends the second half of the film shambling about in what amounts to zombie make-up, chewing scenery faster than Saturn devoured his son.
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  Topics: Reviews , Luis Bunuel, Milos Forman, Natalie Portman,  More more >
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL