Movies: Of Love And Loneliness

"Talk to Her," Pedro Almodovar's first movie since his Academy Award-winning "All About My Mother," has just been nominated for best picture (and actor, director, screenplay and cinematography) for the European Film Awards, compounding the surprise in the film world that it was not chosen as Spain's entry for the foreign-film Oscar. Whatever the politics behind this curious decision, it's hard to imagine there's a more worthy entry. This haunting, generous meditation on loneliness, love and madly displaced desire is like nothing he's ever done before, and yet no one but Almodovar could possibly have dreamed it up.

It's the story of two women--a ballet dancer and a bullfighter, both of whom happen to be in comas--and the men who love them. The intense, unlikely friendship that develops between Benigno (Javier Camara), an ardently devoted nurse, and Marco (Dario Grandinetti), an Argentine writer, is at the core of this wholly original tale, but no plot synopsis can begin to convey the moving, subterranean emotions "Talk to Her" evokes. It's Almodovar's most mature and mysterious movie. "Talk to Her" takes you places you haven't been, but Almodovar isn't after shock anymore. He's looking for miracles, and he finds them in the most forbidden places.