26 12 2006

I’m slowly catching up on holiday-vacation updates. (Yes, I’m even behind schedule when I’m on vacation!)

Anyway, on Friday, the highlight of my day was seeing Volver, Pedro Almodóvar’s new film. It was so much fun. I’ve been a fan of Almodóvar for years. The anything-goes, screwball-comedy quality of films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, and Matador has, strangely enough, profoundly affected me. I just “get” Almodóvar, and I want to live in his madcap world. (My world is all too mundane, I guess.)

In Volver, which means “to return” in Spanish, Almodóvar returns to a familiar theme—how women manage to get things done. It doesn’t matter what the obstacles are: Even death doesn’t stop Volver‘s heroines from returning to sort everything out. Along the way, of course, it’s a wild ride. There’s a little love, some sort-of ghostly goings on, a bit of trash TV, and the inevitable mother-daughter tensions. There’s no particularly deep message to Volver; it’s just fun. If you see Volver, and you should, just sit back and enjoy the whirlwind, the colors, and Almodóvar’s askew vision.

By the way, Penélope Cruz, who stars in the film, is better than I’ve ever seen her. Usually, she just comes across as a not-so-talented celebrity, one of those people who seem to be famous for no good reason. But in Volver, she’s an actress. And a damn good one. So good that I sometimes found myself scrutinizing her and completely forgetting about the subtitles. The Queen‘s Helen Mirren will win the Academy Award for Best Actress this year, but Cruz surely merits a nomination.

If you see Volver, let me know what you think.




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