Presented by Linda DeLibero, director, Program in Film & Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Two decidedly different men, the shy, virginal nurse Benigno (Javier Cámara) and the macho travel writer Marco (Darío Grandinetti), accidentally encounter each other in a Madrid hospital, where they are both tending to the comatose women they love: Benigno ministers obsessively over his charge, the young dancer Alicia (Leonor Watling), while Marco futilely devotes himself to the famous bullfighter Lydia (Rosario Flores), with whom he had recently begun an affair. Tracing the baroque histories of this quartet of lovers and friends, Almodóvar weaves a moving and sometimes disturbing meditation on the relationship between love and desire, body and mind, and friendship and solitude. The critically acclaimed film garnered Almodóvar an Oscar nomination for Best Director and a win for Best Original Screenplay. Continuing the deepening seriousness in his work that began in the late 1990s, the director explores male friendship with the same intensity he brought to bear on female relationships in All About My Mother.
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