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Before Night Falls (film)

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Biography, Drama

United States

Before Night Falls (film) movie poster


Release date
September 3, 2000 (2000-09-03) (Venice Film Festival)January 26, 2001 (2001-01-26) (United States)

Based on
Before Night Falls by Reynaldo Arenas

Cunningham OKeefe, Lazaro Gomez Carriles, Julian Schnabel, Reynaldo Arenas (memoir "Before Night Falls"), Jana Bokova (documentary "Havana")

Julian Schnabel, Lazaro Gomez Carriles, Cunningham OKeefe

Story by
Reinaldo Arenas, Jana Bokova

Executive producers
Julian Schnabel, Olatz Lopez Garmendia

(Carlos), (Reinaldo Arenas), (Lazaro Gomez Carilles), (Pepe Malas), (Lieutenant Victor), (Cuco Sanchez)

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Before night falls 2000 official trailer javier bardem johnny depp movie

Before Night Falls is a 2000 American biographical romantic drama directed by Julian Schnabel. Based on the autobiography of the same name of Reinaldo Arenas, which was published in English in 1993, the screenplay was written by Schnabel, Cunningham O'Keefe and Lázaro Gómez Carriles. The film stars Javier Bardem (who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor), Johnny Depp, Olivier Martinez, Andrea Di Stefano, Santiago Magill and Michael Wincott. The film had its world premiere at the 2000 Venice International Film Festival.


Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes


Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

Before Night Falls is based on the autobiography of the same name by Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas. In the film, Arenas, who was openly gay, is born in Oriente in 1943 and raised by his single mother and her parents, who soon move the entire family to Holguín. After moving to Havana in the sixties to continue his studies, Reinaldo begins to explore his ambitions, as well as his sexuality. After receiving an honorary mention in a writing contest, Arenas is offered the chance to publish his first work. Through his work and friendships with other openly gay men (such as Pepe Malas and Tomas Diego), Arenas manages to find himself.

Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

The political climate in Cuba becomes increasingly dangerous, and in the early seventies Arenas is arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minors, and for publishing abroad without official consent. In the next decade, Arenas is in and out of prison, attempting and failing to leave the country several times.

Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

In 1980, Arenas finally leaves Cuba for the US, starting a new life with his close friend Lazaro Gomez Carriles. A few years later, Arenas is diagnosed with AIDS, and after spending several years suffering he dies in 1990 with the help of Lazaro.


Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

  • Javier Bardem as Reinaldo Arenas
  • Olivier Martinez as Lazaro Gomez Carriles
  • Johnny Depp as Bon Bon / Lt. Victor
  • Héctor Babenco as Virgilio Pinera
  • Andrea Di Stefano as Pepe Malas
  • Santiago Magill as Tomas Diego
  • John Ortiz as Juann Abreu
  • Manuel González as Jose Lezama Lima
  • Francisco Gattorno as Jorge Camacho
  • Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Margarita Camacho
  • Michael Wincott as Herberto Zorilla Ochoa
  • Pedro Armendáriz Jr. as Reinaldo's Grandfather
  • Sean Penn as Cuco Sanchez
  • Najwa Nimri as Fina Zorilla Ochoa
  • Diego Luna as Carlos
  • Cy and Olmo Schnabel as Reinaldo's classmates
  • Vito Maria Schnabel as Teenage Reinaldo
  • Lola Schnabel as Girl with keys
  • Stella Schnabel as Valeria
  • Jack and Esther G. Schnabel as Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg
  • Olatz López Garmendia as Mrs. Arenas
  • Production

    Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

    Julian Schnabel got the idea of making Before Night Falls immediately after making Basquiat, however it took four years to actually produce the film.

    Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

    Bardem spent one-and-a-half months in New York City with Arenas's best friend, Lazaro Gomez Carriles, taking two hours a day to study how Arenas walked and talked.

    Critical response

    Before Night Falls (film) movie scenes

    On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 73% approval rating based on 98 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's consensus states: "An impressionistic, fragmented look at Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls' imagery manages to evoke a sense of the writer's artistry, and Bardem's strong performance holds the film together. Finally, a biopic done well." Metacritic reports an 85 out of 100 rating based on 26 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

    Roger Ebert of The New York Times gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, stating, "One is reminded a little of the Marquis de Sade, as portrayed in Quills. It was never simply what they wrote, but that, standing outside convention, taunting the authorities, inhabiting impossible lives, they wrote at all." Peter Travers from Rolling Stone awarded the film a full five out of five stars, writing, "In uniting to honor Arenas, Bardem and Schnabel create something extraordinary."

    Box office

    The film opened in eight venues on December 22, 2000, and earned $85,230 in its first weekend, ranking #34 in the North American box office. The film received a wide release on February 23, 2001.

    Before Night Falls grossed $4.2 million in the US and $4.3 million overseas for a worldwide total of $8.5 million from an estimated $20 million budget.

    Awards and nominations

  • 2000: Venice International Film Festival: Silver Lion – Jury's special award: Julian Schnabel
  • 2000: Venice International Film Festival: Coppa Volpi (Best Actor): Javier Bardem
  • 2000: National Board of Review Award for Best Actor:Best Actor: Javier Bardem
  • 2000: National Board of Review: Top Ten Films
  • 2000: National Board of Review Awards: Freedom of Expression
  • 2000: Political Film Society Award for Exposé
  • 2000: Independent Spirit Awards: Best Actor: Javier Bardem
  • References

    Before Night Falls (film) Wikipedia
    Before Night Falls (film) IMDbBefore Night Falls (film) Rotten TomatoesBefore Night Falls (film) MetacriticBefore Night Falls (film)

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