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Great cast can't save bullfighting flick

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POSTED: August 5, 2011 11:16 a.m.
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Adrien Brody plays Spanish bullfighting legend Manolete, and sultry Penelope Cruz portrays his troublesome title mistress, Lupe Sino.

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There is a new period drama available on DVD and it stars two Oscar winners as a real-life romantic couple. The biopic is called “A Matador’s Mistress.”
The film stars Adrien Brody as the dashing, real-life Spanish matador, Manolete, a 1940s figure who is remembered as the greatest bullfighter who ever lived.A sultry Penelope Cruz portrays the troublesome title mistress, Lupe Sino.
In the film, when Manolete starts out in bullfighting, his manager gives him just three rules to follow in order to become great. One is to stay away from women. Dun dun dun!
In his particular case, it might have been good advice. His manager’s reason? Women, he said, make a man want to live.
“A Matador’s Mistress” had all the ingredients necessary for success. Brody is stunning to look at in his toreador costume but fails to even feign a Spanish accent. I’m one of the biggest Adrien Brody fans you’ll ever meet, so I can be hard on him.
The way the film unfolds also is rather unfortunate. The titles at the beginning of the picture run too long, boring the audience from the start. Leaps from present to past and back again are confusing and poorly executed without visual cues to tell us when is when.
I will say that Brody must have trained very hard to capture the elegance and skill of a bullfighter. The scenes where he is in the ring are captivating and suspenseful.
There are moments of intense emotion from our pair. The dramatic ending is clever, where we see Cruz watching through a hospital door as it swings to and fro, only allowing her painful glimpses of her beloved.
But, I’m not a fan.

 

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