Before Night Falls

Directed by Julian Schnabel

Bardem deservedly won a Best Actor Oscar (and Golden Globe) nomination for his portrayal of gay Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas in this powerful drama based on the author’s eponymous memoir. The second feature from the director of BASQUIAT, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS also focuses on the troubled life of an artist, but here trouble takes the form of Castro’s officially sanctioned persecution of gays and artists. Epic in scope and ambition, the film traces the writer’s journey – from unwanted child to political prisoner, to American exile whilst maintaining an intimacy throughout. Its potency is derived from Bardem’s sensuous depiction of the sensualist Arenas’ search for freedom. Aesthetically, the film complements its subject’s essence, with stunning imagery and an evocative soundtrack – plus an amazing dual cameo from Depp. Finally, the film belongs to Bardem who, with this performance, leaves no doubt as to his chameleon-like ability. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival“Fuses performance, politics and style…” LA Weekly“Arenas used his writing, his humour, his pain and his homosexuality as weapons against the regime.” Javier Bardem

132 minutes

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