Goya’s Ghosts (2007): Milos Forman’s Misfire, Historical Tale of Famous Painter, Starring Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard

Goya’s Ghosts is one of the few disappointing films of Milos Forman, the winner of two Best Picture Oscars.
On paper, the story of the noted Spanish painter Francisco Goya, placed against the context of the infamous Inquisition, is the kind of period film that Forman is well-suited for, having done good costume pictures (“Amadeus”) and decent ones (“Valmont”).
Grade: C

Moreover, though the movie is set in 1792, when the Spanish Inquisition was still operating, there’s no doubt that Forman wants to draw analogy to more contemporary eras of oppression and suppression, such as his own native country, Czechoslovakia invaded by the Russians, and the current situation in the Middle East, to mention just two cases.

What’s even more perplexing is that the script is co-written by Forman and Jean-Claude Carrire, who wrote such witty and exquisite screenplays for Luis Bunuel and other distinguished directors.

At once ambitious and vacuous, “Goya’s Ghosts” fails to illuminate any of its three thematic strands: Goya as a unique painter, the oppression of the Inquisition, and a portrait of Spain at the end of the eighteenth century.

Diffuse and uninvolving on any level, “Goya’s Ghosts” also fails to utilize two of the best actors working today: Javier Bardem, who plays Brother Lorenzo, and Natalie Portman, as the victim of Jewish ancestors Inez/ Alicia, both Oscar-nominated thesps. Among other things, Forman’s picture may go down in history as the first film in which the extraordinarily gifted Portman has given a bad performance, a combined result of a lousy dialogue and misguided direction.

The film is divided into two parts, with equal running time. The first records Goya’s rise to eminence with the court, intercut with the shenanigans of the Inquisition. Exactly mid-way, the saga jumps ahead 15 years to the early nineteenth century, when Napoleon’s army invaded Spain and to Goya’s mature years (See below for chronology).

Saga begins with depiction of the Inquisition, including the Inquisitor General (Michael Lonsdale) and Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem) going through Goya’s famous “Caprichos” etchings. The Inquisitor General is troubled that Lorenzo has commissioned a portrait from Goya (Stellan Skarsgard). As a result, Lorenzo proposes to reinstate the Inquisition.

First victim is Goya’s model Ines (Natalie Portman), the beautiful daughter of wealthy merchant Tomas Bilbatua (Jose Luis Gomez). She is accused of refusing to eat pork at a big fiesta. Ines is put to “The Question,” the expression used for executing torture, and under brutal torture, she makes a confession.

Ines’s father then invites Lorenzo for a meal at his house, at which he seeks to prove the axiom that under torture, anyone will confess to anything. This indeed happens, in one of the film’s most preposterous scenes, when Lorenzo is forced to confess that he’s the offspring of monkeys!

Stellan Skarsgard plays the painter Goya as a rather sympathetic artist with some ambiguous shading as to his motives for painting both religious and secular figures; in a recurring motif, none of Goya’s subjects likes his or her portrait.

Rather simplistically, this wannabe epos divides its characters into two clear groups, those who side with God and those who side with the Devil. Michel Lonsdale’s Cardinal is persuaded that “putting the Question” is the only way to rid Spain of the malaise of growing heresy. He is contrasted with Brother Lorenzo as the Devil incarnate. In visit after visit in prison, Lorenzo consoles the victimized girl, who’s often naked, abusing his powers with hearty embraces that lead to a baby and eventually insanity.

Vet American actor Randy Quaid is miscast as the King Carlos IV, urged by Goya “to do something.” By then, however, the French invasion is at hand and Napoleon’s idiot brother is about to be placed on the throne.

Structurally messy, the movie is not even pleasing to the eyes, unfolding as a series of tableaux that lack inner connection, not to speak of resonance.

An international co-production, “Goya’s Ghosts” is cursed with all the ills that go with that disreputable genre: nave, anachronistic dialogue, blend of acting styles and accents, and worse of all, lack of unified vision thematically or visually. It doesnt help that the pacing is sluggish and the movie way overlong (close to two hours).

A former teacher of mine used to say that most directors, even the great ones, have one major folly in their resumes; in Milos Forman’s case, “Goya’s Ghosts” fills the bill.

End Note

Goya had a fascinating life and career, but you couldn’t tell it from this movie. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a good movie about the colorful figure of Goya. In 1959, Hollywood made the kitschy melodrama, “The Naked Maja,” also a co-production, directed by Henry Koster and starring Anthony Franciosa as the painter and Ava Gardner as his famed muse and model.

Born in 1746, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, occupies a special place in art history. In 1799, after traveling to Italy and marrying the daughter of the Spanish court artist, he was appointed first court painter, the highest artistic position attainable. His themes ranged from festivals and the royal court to a chronicle of the era’s history, a series of 80 prints known as “Los Caprichios.” As Goya aged, and after a hearing loss, his paintings darkened and he produced some of the most frightening paintings of madness and fantasy, the style of which prefigures the expressionist movement in art. Some of his most important paintings, depictions of Spain’s invasion by Napoleon’s army, describe in vivid detail the disaster of war. Goya spent much of his adult life in Madrid. After the French were expelled from Spain, nearly blind and deaf, he died in 1828 (age 82) in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux.


Brother Lorenzo – Javier Bardem
Ines – Natalie Portman
Goya – Stellan Skarsgard
King Carlos IV – Randy Quaid
Tomas Bilbatua – Jose Luis Gomez
Inquisitor General – Michael Lonsdale
Queen Mary Luisa – Blanca Portillo


MPAA Rating: R.
Running time: 116 minutes.

Warner Brothers Pictures Intl. release (in Spain) of a Xuxa Production/Saul Zaentz production in association with Kanzaman Films, with the participation of Antena 3.
Produced by Saul Zaentz.
Executive producer, Paul Zaentz.
Co-producers, Denise O’Dell, Mark Albela.
Directed by Milos Forman.
Screenplay, Forman, Jean-Claude Carriere.
Camera, Javier Aguirresarobe.
Editor, Adam Boome.
Music, Varhan Bauer.
Production designer, Patrizia von Brandenstein. Costume designer, Yvonne Blake

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88