- Molina, Ángela
- (1955- )Through her untrained, raspy voice, her intensity and the unexpected moves that denote the kind of mercurial spontaneity that many directors find difficult, Ángela Molina became one of the most striking presences in Spanish film in the 1970s. Her raw and indomitable spirit (she is the daughter of singer Antonio Molina) was used by Luis Buñuel when he called her to play the "sensual" half of the Conchita character (played also by Carole Bouquet) in That Obscure Object of Desire (1977).This same rawness became part of her persona, as featured in a series of films during the Transition, and was used to best effect by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, particularly in El corazón del bosque (The Heart of the Forest, 1979) and Demonios en el jardín (Demons in the Garden, 1982), by Jaime Chávarri (Bearn, 1983), and by José Luis Borau in La sabina (The Sabine, 1979). Bigas Luna also chose her for his approach to the myth of Lola-Lola the temptress (first played by Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel) in Lola (1986). In the late 1980s, Spanish film moved away from gritty, loose narratives into more classical styles, and she became an oddity, always communicating something in excess of the narrative requirements. Her next collaboration with Gutiérrez Aragón, La mitad del cielo (Half of Heaven, 1986), showed her more disciplined and more in control, but perhaps less effective than in previous appearances. Jaime Chávarri's Las cosas del querer (Little Matters of Love, 1989) preserved some of her previous qualities, but this revision of the folkloric musical is also a step backward in her career, as she seems to try to impersonate the character instead of bringing the character into her world.In the 1990s, Molina worked less in Spain. Gimlet (José Luis Acosta, 1995), Sagitario (Sagitarius, Vicente Molina Foix, 2001), and El mar (The Sea, Agustí Villaronga, 2000) showcased her maturity. The most polished performance of her late career was in Pedro Almodóvar's Carne Trémula (Live Flesh, 1997), in which the director made brilliant use of her original uncouthness, casting her as the forlorn unfaithful wife to José Sancho's policeman. In later years, she has become something of a character actress, perfect in roles in which she is required to project simultaneously strength and vulnerability, a wounded soul barely holding herself together, as in Ramón Salazar's Piedras (Stones, 2002) and Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces, Pedro Almodóvar, 2009).
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.