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Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Live Flesh (Carne trémula) (1997)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 13,123

My Rating

Movie Info

This Pedro Almodóvar melodrama examines how several lives are changed by a single gunshot. Adapting the novel Live Flesh by British mystery author Ruth Rendell, Almodóvar has given the material a Spanish makeover with added political thrust. Beginning in 1970 in Franco's Madrid, when a prostitute (Penelope Cruz) gives birth to a son, Victor, the story leaps forward to contemporary Madrid. Wealthy diplomat's daughter Elena (Francesca Neri) is watching Luis Buńuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo

Apr 10, 2001

Goldwyn Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (8) | DVD (11)

The overall purpose of Live Flesh, the latest and reputedly most 'mature' work from Spanish bad-boy director Pedro Almodovar, remains engigmatic.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almodovar seems more assured here, confident that he can interest us without overt winking and tomfoolery.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almodovar, whose work here has newly sophisticated polish, appreciates the dark twists of this story along with the eroticism that bring heat to all the scheming.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite his erotic fixations, Pedro Almodóvar is the cinema's last true innocent.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film also feels curiously underpopulated, unenlivened by any sparky character bits.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Very much an Almodovar picture with most of the anticipated outrageous occurrences intact.

October 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Pedro Almodovar has done something nearly unheard of: he has made a wheelchair movie without maudlin sentiment and overbearing importance. Even better, it's actually rather enjoyable.

September 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Another offbeat Almodovar treat - with another compelling Bardem performance.

May 19, 2006
Las Vegas Review-Journal

It is a pleasure to see such a tight work from Amaldovar.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

gripping and gorgeous

September 19, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Witness the increasing promise of Pedro Almodóvar, in a film that has gone largely unnoticed in his career but stands as a worthy and mostly mainstream entry into his unique style of twisted relationship movies.

July 3, 2004 Full Review Source:

The film lacks the anarchic weirdness of some of his best, and without the camp elements it becomes obvious just how like a telenovela the goings-on are.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It's an impressive display of range from one of film's true maverick talents.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

While despair underlies Almodovar's film...the director attempts to lighten up with some misplaced jokes. These, though, are never any more than a brief respite from the irritating mess in which the characters embroil themselves.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The real trouble with this movie is that it represents the continuing departure of Almodovar from the chaotic, riotous and anti-social roots that gave his best movies their zest.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

One wonders why Almodóvar even bothered.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A stylishly steamy tale of passion and revenge.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

This film is one of Almodovar's more resolute efforts.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Almodovar has a keen eye with the camera, and this helps keep us interested. His love of coincidence also creates some moments of the unexpected.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Remarkably taut, logical, even well framed, featuring the usual elements which make life worth living: revenge, lust, and guilt and redemption.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Audience Reviews for Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Javier Bardem, and Liberto Rabal, are easy on the eyes and make the movie worth watching. It's a mildly interesting story, somewhat predictable, and with its fair share of slow moments. And as is so often the case in Almodovar movies, the intense connection between characters is shown through melodrama...not character development. If you are a fan of Almodovar, you will enjoy this. I, apparently, am not really a fan. I don't think that I have really liked any of his movies too much.
April 12, 2011

Super Reviewer

Life, love, desire...and everything in between.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

The more I see of Bardem, the more I like him. Given that my first notice of him came via No Country for Old Men -- which you must see for his performance in that one -- I grow more and more to appreciate what an amazing range he has. This film too, like In Bruges, is a kind of fairy tale, albeit not one you would read to your kiddies at bedtime. A great cast brings a very intricate story of love, revenge, and redemption to beautiful fruition, and I'm getting to appreciate Penélope Cruz more and more in all kinds of ways : ) Oh yeah, baby!
November 18, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Live Flesh (DE)
  • Live Flesh (UK)
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