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Kiss of the Spider Woman

Jailed for immoral behavior in Brazil, flamboyant homosexual Luis Molina (William Hurt, who netted a Best Actor Oscar) passes the time by detailing scenes of his favorite romantic movie to fellow inmate Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), a hard-edged political activist. Slowly, the two forge a bond based on mutual understanding and respect and their relationship evolves. Director Hector Babenco’s character study earned an Oscar nod for Best Picture.

Netflix recommended this movie to me as I liked both “Body Heat” (starring William Hurt) and Cidade de Deus (City of God). I rated them both 5 stars and do recommend them. Cidade de Deus only had English subtitles for me (a true foreign film for me) but still is a great movie.

William Hurt received Best Actor for his performance. I think he overplayed “flamboyant.” I was reminded a lot of the Jack McFarland character from the show “Will and Grace.” I know when this movie was made stereotyping was more acceptable. I think in today’s culture women and gays might be more offended by this as they were implied as being weak and helpless.

Raul Julia was terrific here. I liked his performance over William Hurt’s. I wish we had more time with this character.

I would classify this movie as avant-garde. It is an interesting character study and we do see decent character development. Two men with different backgrounds killing time as the William Hurt character recounts scenes from a really bad movie. We do get to the see the movie acted out visually. I thought the movie within the movie was clever as it does some foreshadowing. It felt that both William Hurt and Raul Julia were putting on a clinic for acting. I am giving this one 3.4 stars.

I am glad to have seen this movie once. I doubt very much if I will see it again. I thought the movie was good but not great. It was a little over 2 hours and prison movies tend to depress me. I should warn that same sex relationships are discussed which may make some viewers uncomfortable.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan Zibluk
The Internet Guy
Cell: (203) 500-3834