Goya's Ghosts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Goya's Ghosts Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 2, 2013
What a hot mess of a movie. Stellan Skarsgård and Javier Bardem both kinda phone it in as celebrated painter Francisco Goya and a flip-flopping monk who rapes a girl wrongly imprisoned as a heretic. This was also during the late-aughts era of NaPo's awkward and repetitive acting choices, which included such disasters as "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium," "The Other Boleyn Girl," "The Other Woman," and "Brothers."

One big problem I have with the movie (aside from the senseless plot and torrid pacing, which I can't even comment on further) is the lack of accent-work. I understand that big period pieces such as this cater to an American audience, and as such, historical figures from myriad countries speak English with an anesthetized, historical-sounding British accent. This movie doesn't even offer that! It's a weird olio of Skarsgård's Swedish, Bardem's Spanish, and Portman's American. ALSO, Goya still speaks perfectly after going deaf.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2011
Film about the life of famed Spanish artist Francisco Goya, Goya's Ghost is a sweeping drama directed by masterful director Milos Forman. I feel that this is a phenomenal period piece. Goya's Ghost has a phenomenal cast and is one impressive historical drama. Not since Forman's film Amadeus has a film of this caliber looked this impressive. Goya's Ghost is set during the Spanish inquisition and shows the harsh period for what it is. Forman's film paints an impressive picture of a gifted artist. The cast that Milos Forman assembles here is an in impressive bunch of talented individuals. They truly bring this film up a notch. Goya's Ghosts is not a perfect film, but there's a lot to appreciate from this film. The story is well crafted, engaging and above all, entertaining. However, there were a few moments that just didn't cut it. For example Natalie Portman at times was overdoing her role, and she turned a rather great performance into a good one. Stellan Skaarsgard is of course, the best role here as Francisco Goya. He truly brought something unique to the screen. This is a near flawless picture that has wonderful performances and a very engaging story. A truly well made film that is almost perfect, Goya's Ghosts brings back elements of Forman previous period piece Amadeus, only this around he focuses on a unique painter.
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2007
Master Spanish painter Francisco de Goya is confined here to be a mere middle man, a MacGuffin in a tasteless soap opera set in the midst of two centuries.
Milos Forman is a good director, but neither he nor his co-writer, the famous Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière could follow a truly significant period of Goya's life.
It pretends to cover a big span of time, but falls short.
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2007
Nothing like the Spanish inquisition to make a movie good. Natalie portman gets hung up and tortured until she is a creepy crazy lady, and a Monk dies. It really didn't have much of a point other than to show what the time was like for Goya, but it was fun to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2007
An interviewer asked Milos Forman why this wasn't filmed in Spanish. He answered: "Because I can't speak Spanish." I now officially love Milos Forman.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2010
A nightmare film about a very dark chapter in European history, when the Age of Enlightenment dawned and the forces of rationalism still waged war with the Catholic church and its Holy Inquisition. Natalie Portman played a dual role as mother and daughter, Ines, one of Goya's models who is swept up in the religious fervor of the Inquisition and also her orphaned daughter, Alicia, who became a street prostitute. The role of Ines was particularly wrenching and extremely well played. Javier Bardem as the priest, and leader of the Spanish Inquisition who was disgraced and returned with the French "liberators" was foreboding and dark in his machinations to protect his reputation at the expense of others. And Stellan Skarsgard did a masterful job as Goya, one of Spain's most celebrated artists. There were times that the script stretched credibility, and several scenes of brutality and human misery made this film difficult to watch at times. But the craft is evident and the the topic relevant to today, investigating knowledge versus faith and liberty versus security and the role of the artist to seek after truth no matter the cost.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Goya's Ghosts," Francisco Goya's(Stellan Skarsgard) art angers the Church in 1792 Spain but with friends like King Carlos(Randy Quaid) and Queen Maria Luisa(Blanca Portillo), the Spanish Inquisition cannot touch him. In their zealousness to fill their quota, they arrest a young woman, Ines(Natalie Portman), for the sin of not wanting to eat pork(I would be so dead...) which places her under suspicion of being Jewish. Ines' father(Jose Luis Gomez), a wealthy merchant, asks Goya to intercede with Father Lorenzo(Javier Bardem) for him...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Milos Forman, "Goya's Ghosts" is an oddly engrossing and intelligent period piece with echoes of the present day, especially on the issue of torture, of course, and the French invasion in the second half of the movie. Overall, the movie is concerned with truth and how there is not one absolute truth, no matter what any particular fanatic or fundamentalist may yell at you about. The one constant is personified by Francisco Goya whose art survives to this day, long after the Spanish Inquisition has thankfully died out. And this might have something to do with his depicting his world as honestly as possible.[/font][font=Century Gothic] [/font]
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2011
Certainly not a conventional film, Goya's Ghosts has an abundance of plot lines and melodrama. Some may not like its' methodical pace, but the setting and characters are so fascinating, I couldn't help but enjoy it. Especially recommended for those that like period pieces, or find humor in having Randy Quaid cast as a king.
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2007
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2007
Initially interesting historical drama takes a turn for soap opera in second half.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2015
The unspeakable horrors and cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition comes across clearly here, even amidst the bloodshed or poverty of 19th century revolutionary Europe. Good performances all around and shot well, telling a suitably tragic but fair-handed story. In some senses, it reminds of 1973's 'Giordano Bruno.'
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2007
A fantastic reflection on the relationship between power and truth, this movie has been sorely underappreciated and poorly distributed. There's really no excuse for it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2008
Read some bad reviews and didn't think I would like it at all but watched it for Natalie Portman. I thought it was very original and very well done.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2010
In a word: BORING. Slow, dingy, self-serious with some ridiculous casting - who buys Randy Quaid as a powder-wigged aristocrat?? And Natalie Portman, a pasty-white Jewish girl as a saucy Spanish senorita? No mas!
Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2008
Milos Forman has an exquisite penchant for the study of breaking with social convention and the repercussions that follow for the protagonists in his films.
I find the lukewarm reception and the film's being so underrated quite disillusioning.

This is one of his finest works,masterfully filmed-the cinematography is breathtaking and the acting stellar.
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2008
Forman has done better.

Tricking us into believing this is a film about Goya himself, he is actually more interesting in painting a portrait of the Inquisition. That would have been quite okay if the proceedings weren't as scattershot, but alas... It's no secret Goya's Ghost cruelly lacks a central character or something called a 'plot'; but those are mistakes I can get usually get over really quick. It is not the case here. The Historical events (portrayed with a big H) spin out of control as they enter and depart the story with more or less the impact they should provoke. It is more a series of sometimes arresting, sometimes melodramatic tableaux than a coherent story. The cinematography provides, however, an eye-pleasing diversion from the dull screenplay painted with surprisingly silly moments. Its 'supper scene' somehow manages to become one of the filmmaker's most cleverly constructed an-eye-for-an-eye scene, and the three leads (particularly Portman) deliver, as expected, stellar performances. But the whole thing, despite its panache, is only interesting in bits and pieces.

And I must say, it's cheap to whine about this, but... English-speaking people in Spain and France?
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2009
"And those who refuse to see the light of liberty shall receive no mercy. There will be no liberty for the enemies of liberty."
A powerful drama about Goya and his muse Inés during the times of Spanish Inquisition and the French Revolution.
Great cast with Stellan Skarsgård as Goya, Natalie Portman as Inés and Javier Bardem.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2008
Crazy movie! Natalie Portman really showed her versatility in this film! And it's crazy how the director was still able to find comedy in the Inquisition and the French Revolution!!
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