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Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kiss of the Spider Woman

Genders: Drama

Director: Hector Babenco

Writer: Manuel Puig (based on the novel by), Leonard Schra

Actors: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, José Lewgoy

Year: 1985
Run time: 120min
IMDB score: 7.4
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Kiss of the Spider Woman

Genders: Drama

Imdb Score: 7.4

Runtime: 120min

Released: 26 Jul 1985

Director: Hector Babenco

Writer: Manuel Puig (based on the novel by), Leonard Schra

Actors: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, José Lewgoy

Company: Strand Releasing

Imdb Link

Kiss of the Spider Woman Available Subtitles

Spanish subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Serbian subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Serbian subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Hungarian subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Turkish subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Korean subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
French subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
English subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Greek subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
English subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago
Dutch subtitles Kiss of the Spider Womanone year ago

Trailer


Review

Deeply emotional and rewarding experience

9/10 Slow-paced but amazingly compelling and moving drama, mainly set in the filthy prison cell of a never-named Latin American dictatorship country. It is here that the flamboyant homosexual Molina shares his escape-fantasies with the idealistic (but heterosexual) revolutionary warrior Valentin. The stories they tell, either coming from Molina's vivid imagination or from Valentin's struggling past, all feature a similar woman. This primarily Brazilian film is a quintessential piece of artwork. No wild car-chases, gunfights or steamy sex sequences here but you'll be fascinated by the strong dialogs, the mesmerizing acting performances and the professional directing skills of Hector Babenco. The growing relationship between the two opposite protagonists is masterfully illustrated and the depressing set-pieces only increase your sympathy for the both of them. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is the only film I've seen so far that successfully implements a complex structure containing flashbacks as well as dream-sequences - and even film-in-film images – without becoming overly confusing. Raul Julia and William Hurt both deliver their finest performances ever, and the latter righteously got rewarded with an Oscar. A definite must see for every demanding fan of film-making.

one year ago

"Film within a film" really works

9/10 Reading the other reviews, I see that homophobes have been duly warned about this movie, so I won't say anything about the relationship between the two men beyond that it is complex and beautiful.

What interests me more for the purposes of this little blurb is that no one has commented on how the "film within a film" (much like the "play within a play" in Hamlet) reflects the actual events unfolding in the prison cell. Molina (William Hurt) is ostensibly retelling his favorite film to entertain Valentin (Raul Julia) and make the time pass more quickly, but he himself admits that he "embroiders" the story to make it more real. So who is to say if this film exists except in Molina's mind, and if it does, what really transpired in the film? The story about the French woman who is in love with a German officer during World War II, and must decide whether or not to betray him, is an obvious parallel to Molina's decision to betray Valentin or not. Even Molina says that he most identifies with Leni La Maison (Sonia Braga) in this film of his, and it's not just because he is a drag queen. It's because he has to choose between the man he loves and "patriotism" (in his case, represented by the police/government as well as his ailing mother).

This storytelling tactic works brilliantly, in my opinion. Kiss of the Spider Woman is indeed original, quirky, and a must-see.

one year ago

This Weird Movie Will Catch You in Its Web

8/10 A bizarre, evocative film which seems strange even now -- I can't imagine what audiences made of it in 1985.

William Hurt and Raul Julia play cell mates, one gay, the other straight, rotting away in a Latin American prison under the iron thumb of a tyrannical dictatorship. At first, Julia's Latin machismo makes him repelled by Hurt's flamboyant femininity, but the two gradually bond, thrown together as they are, and discover a kind of love that transcends conventions about love and sex and that can probably only exist between two people surviving in extreme conditions.

Hurt, already known as a strapping leading man at the time, took quite a risk playing this fey character, especially at a time when movies still weren't comfortable with mainstream portrayals of gays, but his risk payed off -- he won that year's Best Actor Academy Award and became just about the hottest actor in town for a few years there in the mid-80s. Julia has a much less showy role, but the success of the film is dependent upon the strength of both male leads, and he delivers. Sonia Braga plays the eponymous spider woman, a dream figure cobbled together by both men from their imaginations and memories of old movies.

This film is a big downer, but if you enjoy well-acted, well-written stories, then the depressing ending is worth it.

Grade: A

one year ago

An underrated gem

10/10 "Spider Woman", although an emotionally draining film, is a true classic. Right from the first scene, you feel the frustration of Valentin and Molina, both outcasts of society, yet for very different reasons.

The acting is nothing less than extraordinary. William Hurt as the lonely homosexual, Molina, the late Raul Julia, as the stern, but deeply caring political prisoner, Valentin, and Sonia Braga, who takes on three different roles, including the title role, and plays them all brilliantly, are what makes this film

so great.

Although Hurt deservingly won the Oscar for Best Actor, the same consideration should have been given to Julia and Braga for their contribution.

If you've seen it, see it again....if you haven't, I highly recommend you do.

one year ago

Powerful stuff...

9/10 This film, about two thoroughly different souls turning into each other, is one of the all-time greats. The writing is crisp, the acting is phenomenal, and the story is exquisite. I have read the book in both Spanish and English, seen the musical four times, read the script of the play, and watched this movie over and over again... I recommend it to anyone who wants a true powerhouse drama, not a schmaltzy tearjerker.

one year ago