Brief: Live Flesh
Live Flesh
For long stretches, Live Flesh seemed to me to be one of Almodovar's weaker efforts, giving way to his Sirk-ian impulses and developing many of its plot points through thinly veiled contrivances. It seemed, for a while, that the film's characters acted more from what the plot required of them than from anything resembling realistic human interactions. Yet as the film entered its third act, the emotional pay-offs felt well-earned and borne of tensions much of the film's earlier run-time had only hinted at obliquely.

The film develops a sense of noir's romantic fatalism, and while it never loses that melodramatic sheen, the character interactions take on a weight of predestination that makes them feel less contrived and more inevitable. I still wouldn't rank the film among the director's best, but its final act won me over to its particular charms. This is a messy, fleshy, soapy, noir-lite about fate, consequence, love, loss and guilt. Almodovar has made better movies about all of these things, but though it takes time to settle itself into its own mode of realism, once it lands there, Live Flesh becomes ultimately moving in ways that were unexpected and rewarding.

Read more of Jordan's Film Criticism here
comments powered by Disqus