Spain, 1988, 88 min, DCP, Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, Rated R, Spanish with English subtitles, Sony Pictures Classics

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Saturday, 1/8

“Mr. Almódovar sets out to charm rather than shock. That he succeeds should not come as a surprise.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“A feminist comedy with real bite; it always brings down the house.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Television actress Pepa (Carmen Maura) is desperate because her boyfriend Iván (Fernando Guillén) is about to fly to Stockholm with a new girlfriend. Pepa must track him down to deliver a message: she’s pregnant. Hilarious and mind-boggling events enter the picture: Pepa’s close friend Candela (María Barranco) might have gotten herself involved in a terrorist plot; a real estate agent sends Iván’s son Carlos (Antonio Banderas) to check out Pepa’s apartment; Carlos’s girlfriend Marissa (Rossy de Palma) accidentally downs a pitcher of substance-infused gazpacho; and a taxi driver with a passion for mambo keeps appearing to give Pepa a ride. Is it possible to avoid a nervous breakdown with all the madness spiraling out of control? This absurd comedy was an international hit, winning multiple Spanish Goya Awards and garnering an Academy Award nomination.

This screening is part of ¡Viva Pedro!: An Almodóvar Showcase, which is a celebration of acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who, for decades, has bucked norms and crafted a trademark cinematic voice. ¡Viva Pedro! includes repertory screenings from Almodóvar’s uniquely compelling archive. These screenings complement the opening of Parallel Mothers, the filmmaker’s latest release.

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