Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Director: Milos Forman.
Cast: Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Randy Quaid, Jose Luis Gomez.
Director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
) and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
) join forces for Goya's Ghosts
, a reckless historical-fiction melodrama with political overtones. During the Inquisition, Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård) becomes embroiled in the struggle of young model Inés (Natalie Portman, driven to her acting limits, if not beyond them). Overzealous monk Lorenzo (Javier Bardem) has put her to "The Question," a brutal torture that elicits confessions irregardless of truth. If you're looking for a Goya biopic, you're in the wrong theatre; the painter's roles here are witness to history and glorified tour guide for the audience. The story—including what occurs after a 15-year time lapse—keeps busy covering rape, anti-Semitism, Randy Quaid as King Carlos IV, and the occupational fallout of the French Revolution. That's a lot to chew off in one film, and a spicy lot at that, but crackpot energy keeps Goya's Ghosts