GOYA'S GHOSTS

Spain, 2006, 114 min.

 

director.gif (905 bytes)Milos Forman

CAST

Stellan Skarsgård - Francisco Goya
Natalie Portman - Ines/Alicia
Javier Bardem - Lorenzo
Randy Quaid - King Carlos IV


PREMIERES

 Spain on November 10
and in Germany on November 23, 2006

 

 


SYNOPSIS

In 1792 in Spain, amidst the turmoil of the French Revolution, renowned painter Francisco Goya becomes embroiled in the Spanish Inquisition after his beautiful muse Ines is accused of being a heretic and put on trial. Goya must beg for her life to be spared through his old friend Lorenzo, a power-hungry monk who is spearheading the revival of the Inquisition. Ines is imprisoned, tortured, and left to perish in the dungeons, while Lorenzo is eventually banished from the Spanish church. Some twenty years pass, and Goya is at the height of his creativity, but he has become deaf and somewhat insane. The three meet again after the French abolish the Inquisition and set the prisoners free, and Lorenzo becomes Napoleon's chief prosecutor against his former Spanish allies.

 

button_box.gif (205 bytes)FROM STELLAN

"If you think of me being cast as Goya, it's a pretty silly casting, isn't it? This chubby little Spaniard and this high 6-foot-3 Swede. I started out working with a little extra belly on me to make me a little chubbier. But then the catering was so good, so I didn't have to use it at all. I gained probably 10 kilos during that shoot. It was fantastic Spanish catering. It's a lovely project. Milos Forman is a great director who I've always admired. Jean-Claude Carrière wrote the script, and he's a very intelligent scriptwriter. And I've been able to work with two fantastic actors, Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman. So it was a great shoot. It's not a biopic and it's not about Goya. It's very much from Goya's perspective. It's a fiction, a rather melodramatic fiction, but from Goya's perspective during two periods in his life: right before the French invasion of Spain and also 16 years after that."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)POSTERS/DVD COVERS

button_box.gif (205 bytes)FILM PRODUCTION NEWS

9/25/05:
Filming begins with locations in Madrid, Salamanca, Toledo and Cuenca province in Spain.

4/06: Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe - "The film will be ready at the end of July and, almost certainly, will be released this year. From what I've heard there are very good impressions and the people who have seen the first cut are very enthusiastic. For me, this movie has been very special because of the opportunity to work with Milos Forman and because, in spite of being an American production, it has been tremendously human in its production. It will be unforgettable. Plus, now that I am in Prague, I'm remembering Amadeus and I have Forman's cinema very present in my mind. What I'm really hoping is that Goya's Ghosts turns out to be a wonderful film."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)LOCATION PHOTOS

 


button_box.gif (205 bytes)STELLAN'S PERFORMANCE

"Skarsgard's honest face provides the perfect canvas on which to draw his perplexity and bewilderment at the ensuing confusion surrounding him."  ...Natasha Hegde, Inthenews.co.uk

"Skarsgård overcomes his unusual casting and delivers a sensitive and charismatic performance that holds the film together."   ...Matthew Turner

"Bardem is probably the biggest star in Spain, and to persuade him to play a fictional priest and let Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård play Goya no doubt took some doing - including the pretense that Lorenzo is the star of the film. Whatever it took, it was worth it, because both actors are brilliant, and with the fiery Bardem as Goya, it would have been a different picture."  ...Mike LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"Skarsgård has a refreshing mischievousness about him, which one imagines Goya possessing." ...Steffen Silvis, The Prague Post

"You never even believe that Stellan Skarsgård as the incendiary artist Francisco de Goya, is Spanish. You go with it, though, because Skarsgård brings a cynical twinkle to the role of a subversive who is also a worldly, connected man."  ...Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Skarsgård makes Goya into a man with a wonderful smile, an affable manner, and the confidence of an artist who stands outside the rules."  ...Roger Ebert

"Skarsgård has always been an acquired taste, the sort of actor about whom people will comment, 'Well, he’s European…' But he’s really in his element here, and the film is strongest when Skarsgård is at work."  ...Colin Boyd, Bigpictureradio.com

"While Skarsgård is a gifted actor who typically has no trouble mining darkness, he plays Goya as a genial, wide-eyed innocent - a confusing choice that is strikingly at odds with the artist's work."  ...Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News

"Goya, as Skarsgård so convincingly depicts him here, does a whole lot better than Leni Riefenstahl in evincing his artist's neutrality and cluelessness amidst so much evil and social injustice."  ...Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International

"Skarsgård plays a fine Goya, although the role feels oddly underwritten in order to enforce his outsider ranking."   ...Eric Kohn, NY Press

"The actors mostly flail as they inhabit underwritten characters, Skarsgård being one exception even though his Goya has so little to do."  ...Pam Grady, Reel.com

"Skarsgård's role is underwritten, but the canny Swede who's gained an international reputation invests it with such a wealth of detail that he's a joy to watch. Unfortunately, it only serves to remind us of the flaws in the structure. We keep wanting to see him play a more active role than the predictable 'artist as recorder.'"  ...BBC Collective