Little Ashes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Ashes Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2012
A disappointing effort that doesn't develop well the personalities of its three main characters and is unable to make us see what Lorca could possibly find so attractive in Pattinson's Dalí. Besides, it suffers from irregular performances and some cheesy, embarrassing moments.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2012
'Little Ashes' follows the (at the time illegal) romance between famed painter Dali and poet Lorca. Dali is the main protaginist being portrayed by Robert Pattinson, who does a very good job despite the occasional lapse in his accent and proves that Twilight isn't his only role.

The story is well scripted with mostly good dialogue which sometimes is lost in the muddle of other noises and occasionally just becomes unhearable. The music however fits nicely and although doesn't boost the film still makes a fine addition.

The mise-en-scene in the film is very nice to look at despite one scene which I'm almost positive was a greenscreen, apart from that everything was beautifully shot amd framed in such a way that not only shows of the actors but the scenery.

Overall, not a great film but an enjoyayble one, it could of done with being 10 minutes shorter as it seemed like some moments were crammed in but for the most part it's an interesting insight into Dali.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2010
Since I began writing reviews regularly, I've found myself becoming aware while I'm watching a film that I will have to have something intelligent to say about it. If I am not enjoying a film, I feel that I have to come up with a viable reason why. This was difficult for Little Ashes. I found myself complete unengaged with the film, and it was difficult to pinpoint why or what the filmmakers could have done to fix the problem. The best that I can determine is that the film frequently wanders. Is this a film about boys becoming men at school? Sorta. Is it about homosexuality? KInda. Is it a political drama? I guess. Even sprawling biopics generally have a central theme or character that pushes them forward, and we see no such thing in the story of Garcia Lorca and Dali.
And Robert Pattinson. Clearly, I find Edward Cullen insufferable and the Twilight movies banal. But I had no great hatred for the actor until now. He is truly, truly awful in this film. I can't remember a single action that seemed motivated, and there is little reason to believe that Garcia Lorca would love/obsess over Pattinson's Dali. It is true that Salvador Dali often turned his life and his behavior into a twentieth century Diogenes, but we don't see satire in Pattinson's Dali; we see dumb schtick.
Overall, this film is chore.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2009
I was not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. There is a real love story there, but because of the times and reservations is where the conflict comes in. All acting was pretty good but the stand out performance was Javier Beltan. I do not know how historically correct it is, but I enjoyed seeing the conflict and struggle for gays in this time period in Spain.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
Even though this movie was rather strange at times, I couldnt help but like it. Robert Pattinson did a really great job portraying a very offbeat and eccentricly weird artist. I only wish that they didnt revolve so much around his supposedly gay relationship with Lorca, but it seems that this was the main purpose of this film, I guess. Overall I really enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2009
My expectations for this movie went of a rollarcoaster from 'oh it's going to be amazing' to 'oh, that is going to suck' and back again. Regardless, by the time I actually had opportunity to watch Little Ashes, I really did not care if I saw it or not. Overall, I was really impressed with it. There is not all that much that is noteworthy about the film, but it is incredibly intoxicating to watch. It's a slow, simple film, which is something I enjoy, but it does not leave much room for ideas or anything else. The characters are interesting and convincing, but a bit flat. You never really understand them, get into their skin. On a positive note, Robert Pattinson, really is not great, but he DOES appear to have the potential to be more convincing and intersting that poor Edward Cullen. There really is not any consistent look to the film. The first of all browny-brown, then it moves into more blacks and white, then tans, and so on. Maybe this was intentional or symbolic, idk. It's just sort of distracting, and I really cannot decide if it was intentional or not. I love Salvador Dali's art and I guess I would have expected a film about his life to be a bit more intersting, a bit more, well surreal. Enough whining, though, I really, really enjoyed the movie, It's just that the only things that really stand out enough to merit mention are the flaws.
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2010
Oh man, this film fails on almost every level! When I first heard about LITTLE ASHES and it's premise, I thought it could end up being Oscar material... instead, it turned into one of the more cringe- inducing wrecks I've seen in a long while. AVOID. Life's too short to be wasting it on junk like this!
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2009
Set in Madrid and Paris at the height of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, this movie describes a (likely fictional) student love affair between poet Federico Garcia Lorca and painter Salvador Dali. Surprisingly tame given the subject of forbidden love, and surprisingly conventional given the subject of revolutionary artists who advise us to eradicate all limits in art.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2009

An interesting look at the intricate...well...relationships between Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel and Magdalena. I was going to say love triangle, but it can't really be called that when four people are involved, can it? Of course, officially Buñuel was not at all interested in Garcí­a Lorca because he was really quite homophobic, but his jealousy of Federico and Dalí­'s relationship is so obvious. Why else would he throw such fits? You can really feel the pain of Magdalena's unrequited love for Federico just as you can feel the pain Federico feels because of Dalí­'s mixed signals and general dysfunctionality. Dalí­ could really be a dislikeable person, it is true, but was Garcí­a Lorca really that sympathetic all the time? All in all this film is much more about him than Salvador. But the film isn't all pain and pining. It has its sweet, romantic moments as well as its funny moments.

RPattz wasn't quite able to capture the essence of Dalí­, but at least he tried.
Super Reviewer
½ January 19, 2011
Madrid in 1922 is no different than anyplace else when it comes to university students complaining about the repressive state of affairs. At least, Federico Garcia Lorca(Javier Beltran) has been published as a poet while Luis Bunuel(Matthew McNulty) is thinking about making a film. Salvador Dali(Robert Pattinson) puts them all to shame with his entrance in his fancy dress. The only thing Magdalena(Marina Gatell) can bring to the party is a short haircut but that will do for now. She also does have an invitation to a fashionable dinner party to which she brings along Federico and Salvador.

Considering the time, place and people involved, "Little Ashes" is a potentially fascinating, yet fatally flawed and uninspiring, movie that even without Robert Pattinson's horrendous performance, still might not have been much good. Another problem arises from treating the characters as merely historical figures in a wax museum, rather than flesh and blood people. Despite their possible dreams, none had any idea what history would have in store for them.(I remember reading in a biography of Luis Bunuel where he wondered how he would have been remembered if he had died in the Spanish Civil War.) And the movie simply goes on too long when a tighter focus on a single time and place would have been the way to go. In its defense, I should point out the movie does the right thing by not shying away from any homoeroticism. Along these same lines there are some good thoughts on the importance of sticking to one's beliefs.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2010
A lot of guy on guy make out sessions, if that's your thing.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2010
Some good performances overshadowed by a film that never quite works. The sentimental ending comes without ensuring that the audience is truly taken with its leads. Interesting as far as the unfilmed relationship between Dali and Lorca goes...but hardly anything else.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2009
I have never seen something more lifeless. What happened? Did the filmmaker decide to illustrate Dali's ideal, 'No limits', by representing the characters stuffed?
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2009
It's okay....For the girls that are wanting to see this movie just for Robert Pattinson, well he was almost perfect. He was edgy, and funny, and crazy and stole every scene. I don't speak any Spanish, and there were times in the movie where I really struggled with understanding what the characters were saying because the accents were so thick.
½ April 27, 2009
Had more potential than it used. I was actually impressed by Pattinson's performance on a physical level; he got the voice wrong (British dude trying poorly to do a Spanish accent, albeit I don't know what Dali sounded like in real life but it still sounded fake) but he did add an awkwardness and freakish glare that made him ideally Dali on the outside. That part was ok. The rest of the movie, however, is just too much like so many other bio-pics that have been made - gloss over history, make sure the characters are 2-dimensional, and in this case throw in a gay love story between Dali and Lorca. The acting, aside from Pattinson, is pretty weak too, with Beltran barely doing much to give his character much life aside from either star-gazing at Pattinson or whining that he doesn't love him enough or whatever (I also had a big pet peeve that Paul Morrison chose to do, which was having Beltran real Lorca's poetry in Spanish and THEN have a translated English portion read over it. Why bother? Why not have the poetry being read in its language and have subtitles? I'd rather hear it read however it is in its original language than how it comes off here, wherein I'm not even sure what he's saying). Also, McNulty as Bunuel- who is WAY too good-looking for how Bunuel looked in real life, Pattinson too but I can kinda let that slide- is very one-note, like "hey, I'm all brilliant and look down on people and am an asshole to my friends and run off to Paris, blah blah." I'm still waiting for the movie on just Bunuel, played by another actor. I bet Brad Dourif could do it.

Best parts: a delirious montage showing Dali and Bunuel in Paris, Un Chien Andalou clips, and a few feverish sex scenes. Otherwise, a disappointing meh.
November 6, 2009
Little Ashes is the "little movie" best-known as the follow-up film of Twilight's breakout, megastar Robert Pattinson (the infamous, brooding Edward Cullen; but Harry Potter fans knew him even earlier as ill-fated hero, Cedric Diggory!). This small, character-driven drama was probably picked by Pattinson as an antidote to avoid being pegged and typecast by critics. Ashes is a relatively-loose biography "based" on the early life and times of the Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali (Pattinson). Raised in the countryside, Dali's first exposure to an elite, cosmopolitan, cultured existence came to him after enrolling in the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid (a school of fine arts) and moving into student housing where he met and became quick friends with two other artistic, affluent, highly intelligent and remarkable students, Frederico Garcia Lorca (a writer/poet played by Javier Beltran) and Luis Buneul (an aspiring filmmaker played by Matthew McNulty). The trio of young artists quickly became very close, respected friends who ruled campus and dominated the social scene in Madrid. Together, they aspired to change the world. While it is known that Dali and Garcia Lorca shared a very passionate friendship, Dali had always denied (he died in 1989) the two ever had a sexual relationship; but Little Ashes decides to paint their picture as sometime lovers. This deepening friendship seemed to alienate and offend Buneul who decided to move to Paris as it was becoming the heart and pinnacle of European style and life. Growing uncomfortable with the ever-growing obsession (not "crazy" obsession, just a physical and emotional one) that Garcia Lorca continued to show toward Dali, Dali soon moved to Paris to meet back up with Buneul. Together, Dali and Buneul collaborated on Buneul's notorious, very first film -- the silent, surreal, avant-garde Un chien andalou. Garcia Lorca felt betrayed by his two friends believing the movie was putting him down (since the movie had nothing to do with either Andalusia or a dog; but Andalusia was the state Garcia Lorca called home).
There is falling out and some making up before Spain -- where Garcia Lorca still was residing -- fell into civil war (the Spanish Civil War). The movie is about three very talented, gifted young men who were the best of friends. It is also about love and loss, acceptance and understanding, and an uneasy social, political climate that didn't accept or tolerate ones who were different. It is common knowledge what happens to the three friends as any artistic history class would probably briefly touch up on any of these three individuals. The three male lead actors all did a fine job in Little Ashes. If Pattinson continues to make small, artsy films in between the big-budget Twilight saga, he could begin to win over another set of film-goers. I think the great performance of the movie belonged to Marina Gatell, who played Frederico's "girlfriend", Magdalena. Her love of Frederico was unconditional and it was beautiful and the actress did a masterful job pulling it off. I also enjoyed the brief history lesson the movie taught me because I knew very little in regards to Spain's civil war and the rise of Francisco Franco (granted, this didn't teach me much but it did pique me interest enough to make me research more on my own -- and that is ALWAYS good). As I said in the first line, Little Ashes is a "little movie". It is nothing great and there have been many more biopics made over the years that are more compelling and more factual; but Little Ashes successfully kept my attention and I did care for the characters on screen. Truth be told, this is not a movie for everyone: it can be slow and emotional and sad and trying but it is a movie one could walk away from having learnt something.
½ March 24, 2009
I liked the story even though I have no idea how accurately it was told. It was very slow and rather strange at times, but maybe that is just because Dali was a rather strange individual.
½ September 8, 2010
Terrible moustache? The real Dali had one just like it. Robert Pattinson did a superb job of portraying the eccentric Dali. Javier gave a such a poignant and touching portrayal of Lorca, he brought tears to my eyes. Great performances by all the cast.This movie deserves much more recognition than it has received.
½ June 30, 2010
well crafted period piece/bio-pic that shed light on the lives of famous Spanish artists b4 they made it.
½ April 18, 2010
Brilliant....This movie was made with the same artistry and imagination that the 2 main characters exhibited in their lives. Wonderfully written and visually portrayed. At times plain weird but that is what I love about it the most. Def not for everyone. Too artsy for most minds.
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