TWO MEN, a nurse and a travel journalist, and their relationships with two women, a dancer and a bullfighter, who are both in a coma. Talk To Her, a new film by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, uses that unlikely storyline to reveal a lot about sexuality in Spain today. The characters are sensitively drawn, especially male nurse Benigno and his obsessive and one-sided relationship with the dancer.
The film has courted controversy because it explores Benigno's rape of the woman. But this is not crass sensationalism. Almodovar uses it to raise questions about loneliness and alienation. Talk To Her is in lots of ways an uplifting and thought-provoking drama.
LANTANA IS set in Australia and revolves around three sets of relationships. The central character is a bored middle aged cop who can't relate to his wife or the woman he has an affair with. A therapist is desperate to regain some connection with her husband. The Daniels are a working class family trying to get by.
These lives crash together when a dead body is discovered. The film cleverly exposes how lies have poisoned the relationships. It hasn't got a 'happy families' ending. A very good film is all the better for that.