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Volver - Zurückkehren (Return, Volver)

The latest film from Pedro Almodóvar opened at the Cannes Film Festival this spring, and according to all reports, would have been awarded the Palm d’Or if the audience instead of a jury had made the decision. But instead, a joint prize for Best Actress was given the spectacular ensemble of women actors, led by Penelope Cruz, and Almodóvar only the prize for the Best Screenplay, disappointing almost everyone.

I haven’t seen the winning film, Ken Loach’s The Wind that Shakes the Barley, but I am certain that Almodóvar deserved more than just Best Screenplay, although the script is brilliant, full of fantasy, and mischief. This film, which he calls a comedy, is lighter and more playful than his most recent, Bad Education, but no less moving or riveting. Penelope Cruz, who gives a wonderful performance, is so mesmerizing and beautiful that I found it almost impossible to take my eyes off her long enough to read the subtitles. (Since I don’t speak Spanish, this was something of a hindrance—she is on screen in almost every scene).

Like all of Almodóvar’s films, the story is layered and sometimes not easy to follow. It involves three generations of women, their secrets, two murders, and a ghost. Cruz is Raimunda, mother of 14-year old Paula (Yohana Cobo). She is married to an unemployed, beer- swilling deadbeat with designs on Paula. Sole (Lola Dueñas), Raimunda’s sister earns her living as hairdresser, and like Raimunda lives in Madrid. Their mother (Carmen Maura), who died in a fire with their father, appears as a ghost first to her sister, Tía Paula (Chus Lampreave) in the village of La Mancha where the family comes from (as does Almodóvar himself) then she shows up in Madrid and moves in with Sole . Also among the brilliant collection of women: the aunt’s neighbor, Agustina (Blanca Portillo) who isdying of cancer, Raimunda’s vivid collection of friends and Sole’s diversely entertaining clients.

It is a lyrical movie about women, about love, about loyalty -- about life and death. It is full of humor and sweetness, pain and sadness, glorious colors and beautiful music. Almodóvar just can’t make a bad film. (Adele Riepe)


Abgang mit Stil (Going in Style) (2017)

Alles was Kommt (L'avenir, Things to Come) (2016)

Angry Birds - Der Film (The Angry Birds Movie) (2016)

Auferstanden (Risen) (2016)

Baby Driver (2017)

Beuys (2017)

BFG: Big Friendly Giant (The BFG) (2016)

BFG: Big Friendly Giant (The BFG) (2016)

Café Society (2016)

Captain Fantastic - Einmal Wildnis und zurück (Captain Fantastic) (2016)

Captain Fantastic - Einmal Wildnis und zurück (Captain Fantastic) (2016)

Chavela (2017)

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Der glücklichste Tag im Leben des Olli Mäki (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Hymyilevä mies) (2016)

Die andere Seite der Hoffnung (The Other Side of Hope, Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017)

Die Florence Foster Jenkins Story (The Florence Foster Jenkins Story) (2016)

Die Insel der besonderen Kinder (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) (2016)

Dirty Games (2016)

Discreet (2017)

Einfach das Ende der Welt (It's Only the End of the World, Juste la fin du monde) (2016)

Elle (2016)

Eva Hesse (2016)

Fences (2016)

Findet Dorie (Finding Dory) (2016)

Findet Dorie (Finding Dory) (2016)

Free Speech Fear Free (2016)

Fritz Lang (2016)

Gimme Danger (2016)

Gregs Tagebuch – Böse Falle! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The long Haul) (2017)

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hidden Figures – Unerkannte Heldinnen (Hidden Figures) (2016)

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Ihre beste Stunde - Drehbuch einer Heldin (Their Finest) (2016)

Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Kubo - Der tapfere Samurai (Kubo and the Two Strings) (2016)

La La Land (2016)

Maikäfer, flieg! (2016)

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016)

Max - Agent auf vier Pfoten (Max 2 - White House Hero) (2017)

Moonlight (2016)

Nerve (2016)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazars Rache (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) (2017)

Snowden (2016)

Snowden (2016)

Sully (2016)

Swiss Army Man (2016)

The Founder (2016)

Tiger Girl (2017)

Trolls (2016)

Tschick (2016)

Tulpenfieber (Tulip Fever) (2017)

Unterwegs mit Jacqueline (One Man and His Cow, La Vache) (2016)

Verleugnung (Denial) (2016)

Wer ist Oda Jaune? (Who is Oda Jaune?) (2016)

Zoomania (Zootopia) (2016)

Zoomania (Zootopia) (2016)

24 Wochen (24 weeks) (2016)

Certain Women (2016)

Die Schlümpfe - Das verlorenen Dorf (The Smurfs - The Lost Village) (2017)

Dr. Strange (Doctor Strange) (2016)

Dr. Strange (Doctor Strange) (2016)

Gimme Danger (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hell or High Water (2016)

Ihre beste Stunde - Drehbuch einer Heldin (Their Finest) (2016)

Inferno (2016)

Jackie (2016)

Life, Animated (2017)

Loving (2016)

Marie Curie (2016)

Planet der Affen: Survival (War for the Planet of the Apes) (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Split (2016)

The Limehouse Golem - Das Monster von Londen (The Limehouse Golem) (2017)

Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Zazy (2016)

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