.

Live Flesh

Liberto Rabal, Francesca Neri, Javier Bardem

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
January 16, 1998

Spain's wildman is back. He's Pedro Almodóvar, the writer-director who introduced Antonio Banderas to U.S. audiences in such perverse joys as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Word on the festival circuit is that Don Pedro has dialed back on the kinky stuff. Hardly. Just because Almodóvar has adapted Live Flesh from a British novel by mystery writer Ruth Rendell doesn't mean he's lost his knack for sexual mischief.

The setting is Madrid. Horny Victor (Liberto Rabal) delivers pizzas and plays grab-ass with Elena (Francesca Neri), the junkie daughter of a rich diplomat. Elena has left an indelible impression on Victor simply by being his first fuck. Now Victor wants more. Their scuffling draws two cops: David (Javier Bardem) and his older partner, Sancho (Pepe Sancho). A gun goes off, and David is paralyzed. Victor is sent to prison for four years. After his release, Victor finds that David is now a basketball champion in a wheelchair and married to Elena, so straight that she runs a children's center. Their sex life is anything but dull, as evidenced in a bathtub encounter of thigh locks and tongue action that ranks with Almodóvar's most erotic. David takes love lessons from Sancho's wife, Clara (Angela Molina). This affair with an older woman keeps the plot brimming with lust, betrayal and murder. Almodóvar, born under the restrictive Franco regime, has always gravitated to excesses in sex and politics. No exception here. Live Flesh, buoyed by keenly observant performances, is wildly seductive, subversively funny and coiled to spring. What's unexpected is the tenderness – the still, watchful center in Almodóvar that draws us in deeper than before.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com