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Friday, March 18, 2011

Movie Review: Goya's Ghosts

Goya’s Ghosts
The Saul Zaentz Company
113 mins.
Rated: R

This was an interesting movie that is going to be a little difficult to review. The setting for this movie is the Spanish Inquisition immediately following the French Revolution. The setting is realistic while the entire plot of the story itself is fantasy.

The basic plot works like this: Francisco Goya is painting in Spain, the Church thinks his paintings are heretical. Brother Lorenzo steps up and defends Goya and has a portrait painted by him. One of Goya’s models, Ines, is called in by the Inquisitors and incarcerated (her being put to “the question” was executed pretty well)– Lorenzo tries to defend her too, but really makes the situation much worse. Up until this point, the plot mostly made sense, afterward, when it jumps 15 years into the future, it sort of loses its footing. Ines is released from prison, Goya is deaf, and Lorenzo is…sort of flopping around trying to find where he belongs.

It felt like the plot was scrambling around trying to pull pieces together and not doing the best job. By the ending I was confused as to what had happened. I felt like the character of Lorenzo had no consistency to his decisions. As I look back on my notes as I try to write this review, they really don’t make any sense to me at all – and that was my overall impression of this movie.

The acting wasn’t terrible – Javier Bardem plays Lorenzo, Stellan Skarsgard plays Goya, and Natalie Portman plays Ines. I think that the actors did a decent job with what was given to them. I thought that the costuming and make up was very well done – especially Natalie after she is released from prison – time did not treat her well.

I think that the concept for the film was good but the execution and editing left a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t highly recommend this film, but this might be one of those movies that you watch if it is instant download on Netflix or something of that sort. I don’t regret watching it, but it wasn’t something that I loved.

Check out this trailer (it makes it look really compelling which is what drew me in!):

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I've been dying to watch this movie! I may have to pull it out and watch it!!!

  2. Not wild about the cast but I'm a sucker for a costume drama, good or bad...may have to try this one!

  3. Allison & Audra - it was entertaining to watch - but not my favorite movie. And my boyfriend who doesn't love these movies - hated it. haha.


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