Before winning global fame as Twilight’s swooonsome vampire hero Edward Cullen, Robert Pattinson gave a very different performance as the sexually ambivalent Salvador Dalí in this low-budget British-made historical drama co-starring Javier Beltrán and Matthew McNulty.
Looking like an overgrown Little Lord Fauntleroy, Pattinson’s foppish Dalí flounces into Madrid University in the early 1920s wearing calf-hugging black boots and a frilly white shirt, a flamboyant young artist convinced of his own genius. There he encounters aspiring poet Federico García Lorca (Beltrán) and budding filmmaker Luis Buñuel (McNulty) and the trio become fast friends, at least to begin with.
As they set about challenging the status quo in their chosen art forms, Lorca and Dalí’s friendship deepens into something approaching love but they are driven apart by Dalí’s sexual inhibitions and personal ambition, and by the era’s turbulent politics.
The movie’s small budget is sometimes all too evident, and some of the acting is painfully stilted, but the story’s a fascinating one and Pattinson’s brave performance (which features full-frontal nudity) will be an eye-opener for Twilight fans.
Released 13th July.