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Kiss of the Spider Woman Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Grant Balfour

Kiss of the Spider Woman starts out simply enough, hemmed in by the narrow walls of a Latin American prison cell. Molina (William Hurt) is telling his new cellmate, Valentin (Raul Julia), his favorite story. Molina is a delicate homosexual imprisoned for seducing a minor; Valentin is a bearded revolutionary still bleeding from his interrogation. If their film unfolded into the typical prison buddy plot, it'd still be a good movie. But this is a great movie. There are stories twisting within stories, each drawing a new, surprising level of difference between the two heroes: escapism versus realism, romance versus politics, gay versus straight, hero versus coward. As their unstable friendship grows more real, their stories become more vivid--whether Molina's fondly remembered Nazi propaganda noir, Valentin's tortured romantic history, or a tropical island fable told merely to pass the time. (Each substory stars Sonia Braga, a neat bit of casting that further blurs the line between fantasy and reality.) By the end, each man has changed just enough to taste the other's tragedy--a transformation that gives each the strength to define freedom on his own terms, despite the brutality of the prison and the bleak world beyond its walls.

Academy Awards

Kiss of the Spider Woman received an Academy Award for Actor (William Hurt). Kiss of the Spider Woman also received Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture (David Weisman - Producer), Directing (Hector Babenco) and for Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium: Leonard Schrader).

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Hector Babenco

Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Jose Lewgoy, Nuno Leal Maia, Denise Dumont

Released: August 8, 1985

Availability: VHS


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