It is 1792 in Spain and through the eyes of the great Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgard) unfolds the story of a group of people caught up in the brutal later years of the Spanish Inquisition, the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's army and the restoration of the Spanish monarchy by Wellington's powerful invading army. Javier Bardem is Brother Lorenzo, an enigmatic, cunning member of the Inquisition's inner circle who becomes involved with Goya's teenage muse, Ines (Natalie Portman), when she is falsely accused of heresy, sent to prison and the horrors begin...
A beautiful failure worth watching
- Goya's Ghosts review by zc
Beautiful and evocative to look at, but doesn't seem to shed any light on Goya and not too much more on what was a very turbulent and interesting time. Lorenzo's is the most interesting character but it remains more hinted at than explored and the plot, while it may actually get less improbable as time goes on, never really seems to amount to much beyond a sequence of semi-incredible events. But then this is an incredible era. Maybe some day we'll see a director's cut that will restore some much-needed substance to this film, but as it is it seems as though the execution (not a pun) hasn't quite matched the concept. Nonetheless, I would say it's worth watching. I saw it some years ago and, like many of Forman's films, it sticks in my mind.