Director: Pedro Almodovar
Cast: Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas,
Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Brief Nudity)
Official Website: http://www.sonyclassics.com/volver
Day: 1 March 2007
Nominated for 2 Golden Globe R Awards, directed by Academy
Award Winner Pedro Almodovar, VOLVER sets in Spain, a generational
story of three women--a good mother who is desperately in
love with a man who is far from being a saint, a young mother
carrying a hard life upon her shoulders and an illegal hairdresser
whose shop is the meeting point for all the neighborhood
First, the film title is pronounced as “bol-ber”
and not “volver” as in “re-volver”.
So don’t you go embarrassing yourself in front of others.
Oh, and it is a Spanish film for your information.
the term “volver” literally means “returning”
in Spanish. And the plot concerns the returning of a past
which some people wish to forget. Oh, and with this plot,
director Pedro Almodovar has made a film so brilliant that
it doesn’t involve the usual hysterics and depressions.
The comedy brings with it laughs as well as thought-provoking
well-endowed Penelope Cruz plays a mother who lives in Madrid.
In an accident, her drunkard husband is killed by her daughter.
Besides trying to protect the young girl, she has to grapple
with her sister’s illegal hairdresser, the neighbour
who has been taking care of her dying aunt, and the tragic
past where her parents died in a fire.
burden a woman has to carry on her shoulders these days, we
hear you say.
you conveniently stereotype this 115-minute film into another
one of those melodramatic tearjerkers where the characters
wallow in self-pity, remember that we are talking about the
genius filmmaker Almodovar here.
is the man who had given us the intricately crafted Talk To
Her (2002) and the hauntingly controversial Bad Education
(2004). In his latest work, the writer-director surprises
us with another well-told story that entertains and affects
in the most emotionally resonating ways.
this intelligent script, Almodovar has skillfully told a tale
that involves you with his empathetic characters. Amidst the
genuine laughs at the cleverly witty dialogue, you care for
everyone in the film - from the noble mother to the cancer-stricken
neighbour with a dark past. The screenplay won the Spanish
director an award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
It is a shame that the Oscar jury didn’t recognize the
superb work here.
Also bagging a Cannes Best Actress award and Oscar Best Actress
nomination is Cruz, who shines in her role. The exotic beauty
is at her best here, and it is amazing to see how far she
has come since shooting to fame in Almodavar’s All About
My Mother in 1999. With her luscious lips, her dark eye shadows,
her thick hair and her curvy figure, the voluptuous actress
is a feast to the male viewer’s eyes. She is also not
afraid to flaunt her assets, seeing how the film frequently
takes jibes at her chests. Beneath this attractive physicality,
there is a fantastic performance waiting to be enjoyed.
attention to visual detail is another of Almodovar’s
strength, and it is apparent here. The well-composed shots
and the rich colours engage you in scenes where red blood
gradually soaks through paper, and the pale green tiles complement
the kitchen setting to incredible effect.
home, this film has won several prizes at the Goya Awards,
and it has set foot to enchant audiences worldwide with its
gorgeous cinematic powers - you’d leave the cinema smiling.
(An accessible foreign film featuring a clever script, as
well as a loveable and charming female ensemble)
by John Li