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Little Ashes Review, Robert Pattinson

Little Ashes: A Tale of Three (Famous) Friends

After I got over the fact that he-of-the-sparkling-vampire-fame would next hit the big screen as Salvador Dalí, I started to warm to the actual premise of Little Ashes. The story of how a young Dalí befriended two other seminal 20th-century Spanish artists is actually very intriguing.

Three brilliant minds coming together to push their ideas about art and politics beyond conventional boundaries in the midst of an increasingly conservative (and fascist) society is potent stuff. I'm not surprised someone wanted to make a movie based on it. Unfortunately, Little Ashes manages to suck (no Twilight-pun intended) all the fiery passion right out of this slice of history. Save for some stunning shots of Spain's countryside and coast, the film is mostly a melodramatic slog through the past. To see what I mean,

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The year is 1922 and Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson) arrives in Madrid at the prestigious Residencia de Estudiantes, where he meets other young minds bursting with potential, including the poet Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltran) and aspiring filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Already the eccentric, Dalí appears on the scene in oddball ruffles, and Pattinson plays him as a sort of bulging-eyed introvert who eventually morphs into an outspoken avant-garde artist with a huge ego. Over time the three boys form a little posse from which some of the most innovative ideas in Spain will originate.

Finally, something of a tortured love triangle forms between the men, which does lead to some provocative sexual scenes. But the torrid details of their relationship aren't the main concern of the filmmakers; rather, they earnestly try to bring to life the events that inspired these men and their art.

Working from a script by Philippa Goslett, director Paul Morrison is sadly unable to capture the essence of the times, and the script often undermines any attempt at creating a palpable experience. By resorting to yawn-inducing narrative tactics like poems being read in voiceover and Pattinson uttering one supposedly controversial line after another with a melodramatic wave of the hand, the movie conveys certain facts about the men, but none of the heart. The effort is sincere but the end result is a flat and boring movie.

Photos courtesy of Regent Releasing


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Join The Conversation
sophie-meas sophie-meas 6 years
I think Pattinson is amazing in this...he reminds me of Johnny Depp in a way because he completely goes into his character for a role...he can do anything and everything...can't wait to watch him in future films.
lizlee89 lizlee89 6 years
that's very disappointing to hear because I was extrememly intrigued by this. I am a diehard Dali fan, and I have always thought his life would make a fascinating biopic. it especially excited me to hear that the focal point would be his relationship with Lorca. I'll probably still watch it, but all the other critics are saying the same thing...
Pampire Pampire 6 years
Ooohh the kissing scene YUMMY! It doesn't matter if he was kissing a rock he would still make it extremely sexy!
RainyDays RainyDays 6 years
I have to disagree with BuzzSugar. I really liked this movie and the acting in it (esp. Javier Beltran). Yes, there were a few flaws (I also didn't like the voice-over poetry or the black and white montages), but overall enjoyed it for what it was: a portrait of the relationship between Dali and Lorca. To have the movie try and cover more bases than that (such as a greater delving into of the political climate at the time) would have taken too long and wasn't the point of the film. I actually worried that I wouldn't like the movie because I am very picky about films, but I was glad I saw it.
RainyDays RainyDays 6 years
I have to disagree with BuzzSugar. I really liked this movie and the acting in it (esp. Javier Beltran). Yes, there were a few flaws (I also didn't like the voice-over poetry or the black and white montages), but overall enjoyed it for what it was: a portrait of the relationship between Dali and Lorca. To have the movie try and cover more bases than that (such as a greater delving into of the political climate at the time) would have taken too long and wasn't the point of the film.I actually worried that I wouldn't like the movie because I am very picky about films, but I was glad I saw it.
Marni7 Marni7 6 years
I absolutely adore Dali, I am going to have to see this!
White-Sands White-Sands 6 years
I saw it on the weekend, and agree that the pace and script were lacking. Considering how influential the 3 were, it was always going to be hard to sum it up in 2 hours. However, I still enjoyed the film and felt that the acting from Pattinson, Beltran and McNulty was top notch.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 6 years
My grandmother met Salvador Dali when he was living in the St. Regis Hotel in NY.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
Even having read the books, the idea of a sparkly vampire cracks me up every single time.
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