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Tender is his Cellmate

by  Kathleen Carroll

"Kiss of the Spider Woman" is a surprisingly tender love story and a remarkably effective job of adapting Manuel Puig’s challenging novel. It succeeds in capturing the deeper feelings and emotions of the hopeless romantic and the somber realist as they, despite their obvious differences, draw closer together. The performance that is bound to cause the most controversy, however, is Hurt's - he slowly transforms this simpering mam's boy into a flesh-and-blood human being. Displaying both maternal strength and feminine coyness, Hurt poignantly demonstrates the tragic plight of this unfortunate man who, despite the fact that he thinks and feels like a woman, is doomed to remain trapped in a masculine body. "Kiss of the Spider Woman is an intense, provocative movie that ultimately proves love is stronger than politics.