Goya's Ghosts

Film, Drama
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
If biopics ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Man on the Moon’ offered askew looks at their subjects, Milos Forman’s latest strains the neck further. The great Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård) is little more than observer here, making way for an imagining of the afflicted souls who inspired and haunted his twisted artworks. Thus, enter Goya’s muse Inés (Natalie Portman), imprisoned and tortured by the Inquisition for ‘Judaising’, and soft-voiced Inquisition supremo, Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem), himself (in a wonderfully mad scene) tortured by Inés’ merchant father until he confesses he’s ‘the bastard son of a chimpanzee’ and agrees to help her. Co-scripted by Buñuel’s screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, it’s watchable, if faintly ridiculous, giving off a distinct mini-series whiff as 15 years later Lorenzo returns as a Bonapartist and Inés, with the now-deaf Goya’s help, searches for her missing daughter (Portman again). With its riffs on art, its split-in-half story and Goya-esque production design, you can see it reaching for grand ideas about actions and their reverberations, but it merely rumbles on, illuminating neither the artist nor his tumultuous times.

By: Nick Funnell



Release details

Release date:
Friday May 4 2007
114 mins

Cast and crew

Milos Forman
Milos Forman, Jean-Claude Carriere
Javier Bardem
Natalie Portman
Stellan Skarsgard
Randy Quaid
Blanca Portillo
Michael Lonsdale
José Luis Gómez
Mabel Rivera
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