Law of Desire

Critics Consensus

Law of Desire is kinky fun that's as explosively bright and provocative as ever.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 13

81%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,950

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

81%
Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

Popular film director Pablo Quintero (Eusebio Poncela) has found a new love in the form of handsome blue-collar Juan (Miguel Molina). Not altogether comfortable with his lifestyle, Juan decides to leave Pablo for a while to contemplate his future. Pablo insists that Juan keep in touch by sending him love letters. Ever the director, he plans to write the letters himself, and have Juan mail them back with his signature. If you think that settles things, you don't know filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Among the many plot complications in Law of Desire is Pablo's subsequent romance with the possessive Antonio (Antonio Banderas, whose "gay kiss" in the film prompted front-page headlines in the Brazilian press), and Pablo's efforts to film the life story of his sister (Carmen Maura), who started out life as his brother. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Eusebio Poncela
as Pablo Quintero
Antonio Banderas
as Antonio Benitez
Carmen Maura
as Tina Quintero
Miguel Molina
as Juan Bermudez
Manuela Velasco
as Ada, Child
Nacho Martinez
as Dr. Martin
Bibiana Fernandez
as Ada, Mother
Helga Liné
as Antonio's Mother
Fernando Guillen-Cuervo
as Policeman, Child
Fernando Guillén Cuervo
as Policeman, Child
Maruchi Leon
as Maruchi
Marta Fernández Muro
as Groupie/Sergeant
Roxy Von Donna
as Woman on Telephone
Jose Manuel Bello
as Young Guard
Angie Gray
as Girl on Terrace
Jose A. Granja
as Impossible Model
Hector Saurit
as Reporter
Rossy de Palma
as TV Reporter
Pedro Almodóvar
as Dependiente
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Critic Reviews for Law of Desire

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

This wild man has a true talent.

Jan 14, 2013 | Full Review…

What it lacks in depth, 'Law of Desire' makes up in surface energy, with a lively cast, a turbulent plot and a textbook-worthy collection of case histories.

Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

The film bristles with energy and bright interludes before the lugubrious plot takes over...

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

This intriguing erotic melodrama is one of Almodovar's few explicitly gay films.

Jan 1, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

a pivotal and unmissable piece of the Almodóvar puzzle, a romp that is Pedro at his young and kinky best.

Nov 3, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

provocative psychological study about the potential devastating cost of wanton love

Jan 24, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Law of Desire

½

Sexy, twisted, dark - "Law of Desire" is uneven but never boring.

Tony Gandía
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Very interesting and certainly one of the most original ways to tell a story of overly-passionate love, but this lacks the vision of Pedro Almodovar's later work. Most of the acting is fine, Antonio Banderas is clearly the standout star and gives the most effective performance. Where the story really excels is in the bold and innovative choices. However, this is by no stretch a mediocre movie, it's just not the extravagant Almodovar that I love.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

½

Creatively constructed 'fatal attraction' but with better direction and far too much homoerotic passion. Please Pedro, I beg you, less naked Antonio Banderas and more naked Carmen Maura!

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

What I loved about La Ley del Deseo is that it's like a soap opera, only that it's made by and about lunatics. Almodóvar likes to blur the line between camp and drama, and I'd say he succeeds completely. His Universe of loveable yet rather depraved characters is full of color, excess and humor, and on the screen it's enrapturing and we can accept it as the "real" world... but I couldn't help thinking that, if in fact these people existed in our day to day reality, we would have to be very careful not to get on their bad side. Pablo is a filmmaker at the top of his game. He's in the process of writing a film for his sister Tina, who lives with a little girl (whose mother has left her while she elopes with her lover). The girl is platonically in love with Pablo, who loves her back like a devoted uncle. Pablo is madly in love with Juan but, because of his high-maintenance, capricious nature, Pablo is never fully satisfied with him. His awareness of his own difficult personality makes him suffer very much. When Juan must return to his work in a town by the sea, Pablo tries for them to "forget" each other. However, he never falls out of love, not even after meeting Antonio, a crazy obsessive fan who will go to any lengths to have him all to himself. This is a complicated storyline, in which -for a while- it's hard to tell what is the main plot and whether the subplots are any less important; Almodóvar uses all these inter-connections to create absurd, far-fetched conflicts to go with the drama (Pablo's romantic frustration and Antonio's jealousy). Relationships between the characters take a while to become clear, but that's one of the most interesting progressions in this film. Tina, played by Carmen Maura like only she can, fearless and vibrant, has many secrets. This more sombre part of her character is implicitly there always, even in spite of her outwardly personality. Pablo is by far my favorite character, especially due to Eusebio Poncela's performance. He is simply great. In a film with so many melodramatic speeches and absurd situations, he makes Pablo real, and creates heart-wrenching moments with his eyes only. Antonio Banderas is yet again cast as an obssessive fan (Matador! Átame!), and he also does a great job. His character undergoes many changes of attitude, forced and otherwise, throughout the film, and he had no trouble keeping up. In La Ley del Deseo, scandal is the norm. Almodóvar made the argument and the characters as scandalous as possible by believable standards. This is what I find so exhilarating about him. He is not afraid to let his imagination fly and reveal his most cynic, dirtiest, or corniest fancies. So often his film could have crossed the line into sheer camp; it doesn't because he knows how to administer his fabrications, and he knows how to pick good actors and write all these charming roles. I laughed as much as I cringed. The first sequence is absurd, confusing, gratuitious, but it sets the mood for the film: every single one of the characters' problems was brought on by sex. Sex is everywhere, in every scene, and in every shot. Add to this murder, cocaine, fluorescent colors, music, and a Catholic altar, and you have an idea of what goes on. Almodóvar paired images and scenes of such intensity as the beautifully sad ending or the car crash scene, with humorous and corny ones like the appearance of the little girl's mother, or the policemen scenes. I don't know if Almodóvar was trying to tell us anything about Spanish society, about promiscuity, about honesty. These things occur to me, but I don't know if they're merely casualties. I do know La Ley del Deseo is 97 minutes of absorbing excess and heightened emotions, and that's all I need to know.

Elvira B
Elvira B

Super Reviewer

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