January 19, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Before Night Falls

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
125 minutes
Limited Release Date
12/22/00
Wide Release Date
01/26/01
performer
Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Andrea Di Stefano, Diego Luna, Olivier Martinez, Sean Penn
director
Julian Schnabel
Producers
Grandview Pictures
distributor
Fine Line Features, Warner Home Video
author
Lazaro Gomez Carriles, Cunningham O'Keefe, Julian Schnabel
Genre
Drama
We gave it an A

Julian Schnabel’s lyrical and wounding biographical epic may be the first dramatic feature to take us deep inside the lush, crumbling fortress of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. As the gay novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas, who became a prisoner of the Castro regime, Javier Bardem, wearing a melancholy half-smile as ambiguous as the Mona Lisa’s, carries himself with a mournful, catlike tentativeness. The film zigzags before us in a manner as heady and unpredictable as it must have felt to the man who lived it. A

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