Spain, 2006, 121 min, Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, Rated R, Spanish with English subtitles, Sony Pictures Classics
“Enchanting, gentle, transgressive. What a distinctive filmmaker Almódovar has become.” – Roger Elbert, Chicago Sun-Times
“Volver reassures us that you can go home again - if only in the movies.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and Sole (Lola Dueñas) are sisters in a working-class neighborhood south of Madrid whose parents died a few years prior in a tragic fire. One day, their dead mother Irene (Carmen Maura) returns as a ghost to resolve issues with Raimunda, who is busy dealing with her husband’s death and calming her daughter. Mysteries unfold in this story filled with death, incest, adultery, murder, fear, and humor. The ensemble cast of six female actors jointly won the Best Actress award at Cannes and Cruz became the first Spaniard nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
There’s no greater joy for a film programmer than to come across a totally original filmmaker, in complete command of his domain, whose work resembles no one else’s. Such was my elation at discovering the films of Pedro Almodóvar and programming them - for the first time in the U.S. - starting in 1984, year one of the Miami Film Festival. Today, he’s not only the most celebrated Spanish filmmaker, but one of the world’s greatest directors, period. Our series surveys ten classics made over the course of 25 years, and feature not only his famous ensemble, fondly referred to as chicos y chicas Almodóvar, but also actors like Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem who went on to international stardom.
CGAC Director of Programming Nat Chediak was founder/director of the Miami Film Festival (1984-2001).
Program notes adapted from MoMA’s Almodóvar retrospective.