Goya In Bordeaux

on September 15, 2000 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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   The life story of Francisco De Goya Lucientes, one of the world's great painters and a turbulent personality in his own right, ought to make for a riveting, provocative film. But Spanish master Carlos Saura's rendition of Goya's history is a real snooze. Rather then craft a conventional, linear bio, Saura chooses to capture Goya (Francisco Rabal) at the end of his long life, in exile in France, where he remembers his past, interacts with his daughter and pontificates on the grim political realities of his beloved Spain. It's a good approach but very dully laid out and Rabal fails to animate the great artist. Other than in its depiction of Goya's somewhat touching, obsessive relationship with the vixenish Duchess of Alba (Maribel Verdu) and Vittorio Storaro's typically ravishing cinematography, which effectively brings Goya's paintings to life, the film's as memorable as a bad forgery.    Starring Francisco Rabal, Maribel Verdu and Dafne Fernandez. Directed and written by Carlos Saura. Produced by Andres Vicente Gomez. A Sony Pictures Classics release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 104 min.
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