Volver

Dir: Pedro Almodovar. 2007. Starring: Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Yohana Cobo. Spanish. Comedy/Drama.
Volver

Warm and wonderful, Pedro Almodovar's Volver resonates with his favorite subjects:  women, secrets and the transformative power of love. Framed with light suspense, rich imagery and sensuous color are amazing performances by the entire cast, most notably a voluptuous Penelope Cruz. Her courageous and spirited Raimunda is a struggling mother stuck in a bad marriage and bravely fulfilling the role of matriarch, not only to her sister and daughter but to a community of women loosely tied by tradition and committed through love. When her mother reappears as a ghost, Raimunda's life gets infinitely more complicated.

Violence and religious mysticism are catalysts and cards to the emotional evolution of all the characters but are hardly the point. As secrets are unveiled, the once shelled lives become full again with redemption and understanding and life seems to right itself, as if waiting for the perfect miracle. The weak become strong, the strong - weak, youth gains wisdom and age renews its joy for life.

Comedy and tragedy intermingle with glimpses of daily life for these Spanish women. A rich sense of culture and how it too evolves resonates in each frame. You get the feeling that Spain herself is experiencing growing pains and these women who are her bones are the beginning of her nourishment. Volver, or The Return, takes us deep into the heart of Almodovar's honest love and admiration for women and I hope for all our sakes he continues to return there, drawing on his past for such bountiful inspiration.

_________________

Volver was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress (Penelope Cruz).

Posted by:
Jessica Kaman
Jan 28, 2008 3:29pm
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