Talk to Her ★★★½

Some directors you click with, and some you don't. With one of the more distinctive points of view in popular European art house cinema over the last three decades, Pedro Almodovar has earned no shortage of accolades and dedicated fans. I don't have an averse reaction to Almodovar's movies that way that I do, say, the movies of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose work gives me hives, but I always feel a bit too removed from the few Almodovar movies that I've seen, despite finding his subject matter intriguing.

Talk to Her, with its accessible emotional darkness and hints of Hitchcockian tonality (something I also noted last year in All About My Mother, making it a new point of reference for me with regard to Almodovar's work), is about as close to a hit as I've had with this Spanish director. Its story of the loneliness of and friendship between two men who are in love with comatose women is provocative and alluring. As always with his movies, Talk to Her is colorful and visually striking. There's something about Almodovar's characters, however, and his resolutions, that feels a little cold, or unexplored, or, for lack of a better word, confined. It's almost as if his goal is to expand, cinematically, the Spanish TV soap opera, but he clings too close to the form rather than transforming it.

I liked Talk to Her -- especially its crazily preposterous silent movie sequence featuring Paz Vega -- I just haven't discovered how to love it the way that do Almodovar's many passionate fans.