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Mad Love (2001)

Cast: Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Daniele Liotti, more...
Director: Vicente Aranda, Vicente Aranda
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Foreign, Biopics, Spain
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English, French
    see additional details...

This lavish historical drama was inspired by the true story of Juana the Mad, who became Queen of Spain before her willfulness and jealousy robbed her of her power. During the late 15th century, Juana (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) was born to the Spanish royal family, and as a teenager her mother, Queen Isabella (Susy Sanchez), arranged for her to marry Felipe el Hormoso (Daniele Liotti), a powerful nobleman from Brussels. The marriage is a matter of politics more than anything else, and Juana is upset that she must leave behind Alvaro de Estuniga (Eloy Azorin), the boy she loves, but from the first time she sees Felipe, she's passionately attracted to him, and he soon awakens her to the joys of lovemaking. While Juana is happy with her new husband, Felipe and his confidantes believe she is too unskilled in the social graces to truly fulfill her royal obligations, leading to tension between Felipe and Juana. After Isabella dies, Juana becomes the Queen of Spain, but her rise to power is tempered by anger and disappointment when Juana learns Felipe is having an affair with Aixa (Manuela Arcuri), an exotic dancer. When Juana returns to Spain to take the throne, Felipe joins her, but brings along Aixa, obstensively as a maid; outraged, Juana decides to fight fire with fire and attempts to renew her romance with Alvaro. Felipe, who hopes to rise to political power in Castile, can no longer abide Juana's headstrong nature, and in cahoots with the Spanish authorities, he has her arrested -- and she finds herself behind bars for the next 50 years. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

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