Gregory Kirschling
October 22, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Kiss of the Spider Woman

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
120 minutes
performer
Sonia Braga, William Hurt, Raul Julia
director
Hector Babenco
author
Leonard Schrader
genre
Drama

We gave it an B

As Molina, a kimono-wearing ”queen” stuck inside a Latin American prison cell with an angry leftist (Julia), Hurt helped turn Kiss of the Spider Woman into an indie sensation: Had the world even seen a movie star portray a sympathetic gay lead before? He won a Best Actor Oscar, and if today his performance feels slightly stuffed with stereotypically gay quirks, they are human and moving quirks, impeccably rendered. But otherwise, Kiss feels a little cobwebbed — particularly the fantasy sequences featuring Braga as the inmates’ ”spider woman” dream girl. The big surprise of this two-disc edition is that the dishy 108-minute making-of (one of four included docs) is at least as entertaining as the feature. Fun fact: Burt Lancaster was this close to playing Molina. Wow. B

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