List Film

Before Night Falls

Before Night Falls
  • 2001
  • US
  • 130 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Julian Schnabel
  • Cast: Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp

This biopic of the gay Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas has been garlanded with praise and awards, including a deserved Oscar nomination for leading actor Javier Bardem. It's more recognition than its subject achieved in his lifetime, an irony the persecuted Arenas might have found wryly amusing. Schnabel's film is based on the memoirs Arenas dictated in exile in New York, terminally ill with AIDS, before his suicide in 1990. The painter-turned-director finds a style in keeping with the man and his work, mixing truth, poetic hyperbole and magic realism to dizzying effect.

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