Synopsis by Mark Deming
Carlos Saura, one of the finest and most distinctive filmmakers in the Spanish cinema, wrote and directed this biographical epic concerning one of Spain's greatest artists, the painter Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. On his deathbed, Goya (Francisco Rabal), attended by his mistress, Leocadia (Eulalia Ramon) and their daughter, Rosario (Dafne Fernandez), is plagued by hallucinations and frequent visions of the beautiful Cayetana (Maribel Verdu) as his mind reels through the events of his life. As a young man, Goya (played in his younger days by Jose Coronado) became the court painter to King Charles and the Royal Family, where he created technically skillful but uninteresting portraits and was invited to a number of royal functions. At one such affair, Goya first met Cayetana, the Duchess of Alba, and he was immediately smitten; they became lovers, and she was both the subject and inspiration of several major works, including "Desnuda" and "La Maja Vestida." Goya's work developed a dark undercurrent after Napoleon invaded Spain and he took up with Leocadia, creating disturbing images that alienated his patrons and frightened his children. In time, the decline of the court and a changing political climate forced Goya to seek exile in France in 1824, where he would die four years later. Goya In Bordeaux was a project that Saura had dreamed of filming for years, and he was ably assisted in recreating the look of Goya's paintings by master cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
painting, deathbed, inspiration, exile, flashback, political-upheaval, Spain, Spanish [nationality], aristocracy, artist, portrait