7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Stylish, beautiful and well acted, if a little strange,
This review is from: Little Ashes [DVD]  (DVD)
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I enjoyed this film more than I expected to, given my lack of awareness of the real historical inspiration for the story. I generally only get excited about biopics if I'm really interested in the subject, so I was worried that I would struggle to make it through to the end. However, I was pleasantly surprised, not least by Robert Pattinson's acting talent. He clearly has a lot more to offer than his best known role as a pretty vampire in the Twilight franchise.
This movie is beautifully shot, which I suppose is very appropriate given the locations and the artistic pursuits of the central character. Even though it felt a little strange that all the actors were speaking English with heavy Spanish accents when it's a Spanish film with a mainly Spanish cast, the accents were very good and it wasn't too jarring. I don't really know why Lorca's poems were always read in Spanish with an English voiceover, but again it seemed to work okay. There was an air of authenticity about the locations and costumes, making it easy to become absorbed in 1920s Spain in the build up to civil war.
Dali starts the film being quite a likeable character, despite being socially awkward and bizarre, but as the film progresses he changes into someone less easy to like. But his talent is undeniable, and the film respects that throughout. Even though the film's themes are quite heavy (repressed homosexuality, civil war and fascism), there was enough humour and romance to balance it out. The ending is quite emotional and makes a lasting impression, even more so because it all really happened.
I would recommend this film to anyone interested in the period or the people, and anyone who wants to see proof that Pattinson is a genuinely fine actor destined for great things.