Coming Soon But Not Soon Enough
#8 Volver (Sony Pictures Classics. Arriving in June. Now playing in Spain.)
I still vividly recall my introduction to the colorful, supremely cinematic world of Pedro Almodovar. It was a one two punch in short succession. I rented Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown out of sheer curiousity (based on the title) and found myself both disoriented and highly amused. Then a friend of a friend of a friend begged me to sit down with Law of Desire. I was a devotee from then on. I never saw that acquaintance again but damned if I don't owe him a loudly uttered "thank you."
For the past six years Pedro has been enjoying a beautiful creative renaissance. All About My Mother renewed Almodovar fever in 1999 (and won him the Foreign Film Oscar). Improbably Talk To Her didn't suffer by comparison and was considered another instant classic (He won a second Oscar and neared the top of my top ten list). And two years ago Bad Education's "fag noir" provided more thrills for adventurous filmgoers. Put simply: Almodovar is the most consistently thrilling auteur that's regularly working.
His latest feature Volver reunites him at long last with the star of his first Carmen Maura, arguably his greatest muse. Spanish beauty and blight on Hollywood films Penelope Cruz also stars. But I don't mind. Almodovar knows just how to use her talent. Maura plays the ghost of Cruz's mother.
Now if Pedro would only invite Victoria Abril back in the mix...
My trinity of favorites
Law of Desire (1986), All About My Mother (1999), Talk to Her (2002)
Performances I love the most
Carmen Maura in Law of Desire(1986), Victoria Abril in both Kika(1994) and ¡Átame!(1990), and Gael Garcia Bernal in Bad Education(2004)
My least favorite
Haven't seen [embarrassed]
Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980), The Flower of My Secret (1995)
tags: Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodovar, Volver, movies
previous "coming soons"
Inland Empire, Little Children, Margaret, Bug and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Zodiac