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Sunday, December 17, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Volver cinematronic
  director

Pedro Almodóvar

cast

Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lampreave, Antonio de la Torre, Carlos Blanco

year

2006

rating rating cinematronic
  With "Volver," flamboyant Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar uses the tribulations of an extended family of women to take a loving, slightly twisted look at female bonding, betrayal, death, and survival. It's a considerable shift away from the steamy, male-centric journey through forbidden passion, shifting identities and the fluidity of memory that was his previous movie "Bad Education." Yet "Volver," featuring a complex, seductive performance by the stunning Penélope Cruz, is no less dark, fiery, mysterious and playful than the rest of Almodóvar's venerated filmography. Cruz is the pragmatic Raimunda, who works at a Madrid restaurant, warily copes with her loutish husband, and tries to be a good mother to her teenage daughter. When their infirm Aunt Paula requires attention, Raimunda and her sister Sole (Lola Dueñas) pay a strained visit to the old woman in the rural village where they were raised — and where, years earlier, their parents died in a house fire. The sisters' childhood friend Agustina (Blanca Portillo) still lives in the village, and wrestles with serious medical and emotional problems. Even more disturbing, Sole believes that she was visited by the ghost of her late mother Irene (Carmen Maura), and can't bring herself to tell Raimunda. The whole project, particularly the sequences in the desolate village, has an otherworldly feel, enhanced by vivid cinematography. But it serves as an appropriate backdrop for the hyper-real women of "Volver." Brought to the screen by Almodóvar and his superb cast, they are a touching lot, determined to endure the setbacks of daily life and the whims of faithless men, and to transcend the tragedies of a past that refuses to go away.
cinematronic
cinematronic


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