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Film: Girlfriend in a Coma

Set in his beloved Madrid, Pedro Almodóvar's latest, Talk to Her, is studded with virtuoso performances. Superstar Brazilian crooner Caetano Veloso makes an appearance, as do the members of German choreographer Pina Bausch's Wuppertal Tanztheater. And it is perhaps Almodóvar's most accomplished film. Talk to Her tells the story of two women lying suspended between life and death, and the men who care for them. Benigno (Javier Cámara), a private nurse, looks after Alicia (Leonor Watling), a young ballet student hit by a car. Marco (Darío Grandinetti), a journalist, pines for his girlfriend, Lydia (Rosario Flores), a female bullfighter who has been gored in the ring. Iberian fetishists will appreciate the loving attention to the matador's costume, all hot pink and gold brocade. Fans of early cinema will swoon over the director's daring reinvention of a 1924 silent short, The Shrinking Lover—seven minutes that mask the film's greatest surprise. —Leslie Camhi

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