Talk To Her is a multi-layered film with the opening scene of the ballet to a night-time recital of Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso to a seven-minute silent film The Shrinking Lover. Although the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has specialized in movies about women, two men are center stage here. They share what William James once called "the gift of tears." "Of all the expressions of human emotion in the lexicon of life, weeping may be the most functional, the most deeply versatile. The tears we weep show us our deepest, neediest, most private selves. Our tears expose us. They lay us bare both to others and to ourselves. What we cry about is what we care about. What we have no tears for hardens our hearts."
Through a series of complicated turns in the storyline, the two men, Benigno (the nurse) and Marco (the bald actor) are drawn closer together. A death, a suicide, and a miraculous recovery flow together in the last section of the film. Almodóvar is an imaginative teacher of emotional intelligence. Talk To Her speaks volumes about the different delineations of love, compassion, and attention.
The extraordinary thing about Talk to Her is that it’s all these things at once—and more: a meditation on the ways in which couples communicate, or don’t. A study in loneliness. A story of friendship based on little but shared longing. The director makes no editorial distinctions between "holy" and "unholy" love where passion is passion, and whatever form it takes is more enlivening than its opposite.
The story is improbable, but in the end it leaves you with a strange yet good feeling. Talk to Her won the Oscar in 2003 and a plethora of awards across the world.
I completely recommend this film. Please rent the DVD.
ps: I would have given a 5, but I can’t believe hospitals will allow a male nurse to give sponge bath to a comatose young woman, even if he claims to be gay.