Goya’s Ghosts

Movie Information

In Brief: Chances are you've never heard of this 2006 release. Then, it's even money that you'll look at the fact that it's from Milos Forman, and that it stars Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgård, and wonder why you've never heard of Goya's Ghosts. A couple of hours with the film will pretty thoroughly answer why. You may assume this is a movie about the painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgård), but it really isn't. Goya is more an observer than an actual participant here, and the movie is no kind of biopic. Rather, what we have here is a largely unpleasant story about the Spanish Inquisition — and largely lacking any discernible point. There are fleeting elements of Ken Russell's The Devils (1971) and Peter Brook's Marat/Sade (1967), but without the power or stylization of either one. Instead, this is a tawdry melodrama of a priest of the Inquisition (Bardem) becoming fixated on one of Goya's models (Portman). Naturally, he uses his position to have her imprisoned (what a way to get women!) so he can have his way with her. There's more — a good deal more — and it gets very melodramatic and grubby. I can't say it isn't well made, but I'm still trying to understand why it was made and for what possible audience.
Genre: Fact-Based Drama
Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Randy Quaid, Jose Luis Gomez, Michael Lonsdale
Rated: R

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Goya’s Ghosts Sunday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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2 thoughts on “Goya’s Ghosts

  1. Chip Kaufmann

    Due to the Winter storm, Sunday’s showing of GOYA’S GHOST has been cancelled.

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