Title: Manolete/A Matador’s Mistress
Review/Synopsis: 8/10 I’ll go ahead and tell you it got really low ratings on IMDb, but I really don’t know why…it is visually STUNNING! The production and costume design on this film is like nothing I have ever seen! I did some research right after I watched it and apparently there were serious difficulties post production and that is why is has just been released within the last couple of years and was never released to theaters, although it was completed in 2007. I read that this recent release was “a newly edited version”, so I am dying to see the original version. Adrian Brody did so well in The Pianist, but other roles I’ve seen him in haven’t really done it for me, until this one (since this film, I’ve seen several other films featuring him and he has done very well too). He is amazingly talented and completely under appreciated! Penelope Cruz is one of my favorite actresses of all time and this match-up was a dream for me. They are both so passionate and convincing in their roles and although I am usually not a fan of period films or biographies, this movie was completely captivating! The film follows the life of a Spanish bullfighter and his lover in the 40s and includes all of the things you think it might: fights, passion, injury, etc. Again, the costumes and set design were my favorite parts, but this is a very good movie all around. The scenery is gorgeous and there are some glorious shots and the sound mixing/editing is very well matched. Definitely artful and well produced-I am so sad that there were so many difficulties with its release and really, deeply hope it becomes a cult classic somewhere down the line!
Year: completed in 2007 but released straight to DVD/VoD in 2011
Stars: Adrian Brody, Penelope Cruz
Where to watch: Netflix, VOD