Release year: 2006
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Screenwriter: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lampreave, Antonio de la Torre, Carlos Blanco
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Actress (Penélope Cruz). 2 Golden Globes nominations: Best Actress Drama (Penélope Cruz), Best Foreign Language Film. Cannes Film Festival: Best Actress (female ensemble cast), Best Screenplay, Nominee for Palme d’Or. 1 Empire Award: Best Actress (Penélope Cruz).
In the windy and superstitious village they grew up in, the two sisters Raimunda (Cruz) and Soledad (Dueñas) keep their mother’s gravestone clean. While there, they visit their elderly aunt (Lampreave) who speaks as if their mother (Maura) is still alive and in the village they here, her soul has appeared to some in the village. Meanwhile Raimunda’s life becomes complicated as she finds her daughter Paula (Cobo) crying in the rain. If ever Raimunda needed her mother, it is now.
Spanish director Almodóvar (Todo sobre mi madre, 1999) is famous for creating movies with strong females characters and for collaborating several times with the same actors. Both facts is true about Volver, a movie that made Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona, 2008) the first Spanish actress to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and a movie that mixes human drama with touches of magic realism. Cruz truly deserved the nomination for her incredible strong and emotional performance as Raimunda, a woman with passion and temper who often speaks before she thinks. But all the performances in the movie is perfect and whether it is a strong connection between the cast or Almodóvar’s writing, the movie leaves you envying the tight society with people being there for each other when in need. The movie isn’t laugh-out-loud funny in any way, it finds it humour in the peculiarity of life and the people in it, like dramas often do, and these characters feel as real as possible without actually being it. The story is gripping and interesting with shocking secrets and an emotional core, but the most impressive thing about the movie is the mesmerizing performance by leading lady Cruz.
Set in the La Mancha region, Almodovar’s place of birth, the filmmaker cited his upbringing as a major influence on many aspects of the plot and the characters.
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Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures