Adriana Novoa


Given the traumatic character of some of its scenes, it is surprising that the most recent film by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, far from provoking indignation, has met with almost universal critical and popular acclaim, including an Academy Award for best screenplay. In this essay, the author shows how Talk to Her both exploits and reinvents traditional fairy-tale narratives and how it employs fairy-tale strategies in critiquing a contemporary society beset by dehumanization and alienation. But in the very act of subverting relationships between men by reinventing the fairy tale, Almodóvar perpetuates a surprisingly traditional misogyny that demands careful analysis.