Ask the Dust (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ask the Dust (2006)



Critic Consensus: Though Hayek is luminous, Farrell seems miscast, and the film fails to capture the gritty, lively edginess of the book upon which it's based.

Movie Info

Adapted from a novel by John Fante, Robert Towne's Ask the Dust stars Colin Farrell as Arturo Bandini, a young writer who comes to Los Angeles during the Great Depression in order to write a novel. As the film opens, he is down to his last nickel and decides to spend it on coffee in a diner. He is served by Camilla (Salma Hayek), a Mexican beauty he is instantly attracted to even though he treats her horribly during their first interaction. Soon the pair is involved in a relationship that finds them sparring with each other at first, but slowly learning to trust each other. Bandini meets the acquaintance of a desperate woman who sees him as the most desirable man in the world. Eventually Arturo and Camilla get away from the city and their love deepens as he attempts to finish his novel. Donald Sutherland co-stars as a seedy but helpful and loyal neighbor.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Robert Towne
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 25, 2006
Box Office: $0.6M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Colin Farrell
as Arturo Bandini
Salma Hayek
as Camilla Lopez
Eileen Atkins
as Mrs. Hargraves
Idina Menzel
as Vera Rifkin
Richard Schickel
as Voice of Mencken
Dion Basco
as Patricio/houseboy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ask the Dust

Critic Reviews for Ask the Dust

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (39)

Although Chinatown writer Towne lovingly depicts the Depression-era LA setting (actually shot in South Africa), the film misfires.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Farrell and costar Salma Hayek have rarely been so affecting, or so effective, as self-hating ethnics who find love.

March 30, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Director Robert Towne and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel have creatrd a pretty picture but forgot to inject some life into it.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Airless, joyless

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

Donald Sutherland saunters onscreen, momentarily raising the level of the film, before he ambles back out the door and things sink back down to the listless and pointless pace that typifies this jumbled mess of a movie.

Full Review… | April 19, 2007
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Ask the Dust


"I looked for Camilla everywhere,and everywhere I looked,all the faces seemed like mine.Tight. Worried. Lost.
Faces with the blood drained away.Faces like flowers torn from their roots,the colors fading fast."

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer


this film wanted to be great, and could have been so, but it missed the mark. at least average, it failed with oddities of the story and uncomfortable moments that were unneccesary to the plot. the premise was great but it missed on most everything else.

danny d

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Ask the Dust", it is the 1930's when Arturo Bandini(Colin Farrell) has had a story published in H.L. Mencken's magazine, American Mercury. With the $150 he receives, he moves from Colorado to Los Angeles where he seeks to pursue a career as a writer. Only one problem: he is an inexperienced young man and has nothing to write about despite the rich palette happening just outside of his window. He is soon down to his last nickel and decides to spend it on a coffee at a local bar. However, the coffee is downright awful and he gets into a running argument with a beautiful waitress, Camilla(Salma Hayek).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In "Ask the Dust", 1930's Los Angeles is a place for people to get a new start but too many of them just recreate their old lives and even worse, bring their old prejudices along for the ride. And even Arturo and Camilla cannot escape this. [/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Ask the Dust" is an adequate movie that starts well but slows down to a crawl and becomes predictable. But it is evocative in recreating 1930's Los Angeles and Colin Farrell gives his best performance to date. [/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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