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Volver (2006)

Cast: Penélope Cruz, Penélope Cruz, Lola Duenas, more...
Director: Pedro Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar
    see all cast/crew...
Rating:
Studio: Sony Pictures
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Foreign, Spain, Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 121 min.
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
Two sisters learn that the bonds of family don't always end after death in this gentle, observational comedy drama that marks celebrated Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's 16th feature. The story explores the interactions between three generations of women in a Spanish family. Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) was born and raised in the apocryphal village of Alcanfor de las Infantas, in La Mancha, Spain. But she now resides in Madrid, where she works as a janitor. She is married to Paco (Antonio de la Torre), an unemployed layabout, and looks after her daughter, Paula (Yohana Cobo). Raimunda's mother, Irene (Carmen Maura), died several years back (along with her father) in a house fire. Raimunda's younger sister, Sole (Lola Dueñas), also lives in Madrid and works as a hair stylist, while their aunt Paula (Chus Lampreave) still makes her home in La Mancha, with occasional help from neighbor Agustina (Blanca Portillo). The story takes an unusual and mystical twist when Agustina mentions that Irene has begun reappearing in ghostly form -- a fact questioned by Raimunda and Sole. After a murder and an unexpected family tragedy, Paula's story is indeed corroborated by the appearance of Irene's spirit (who has come to comfort her family), and Sole must decide how to respond to the long-dead mother's strange, enchanting presence. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Domestic Revenge by RJones3 October 2, 2007 - 10:01 AM PDT
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0 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Volver is a celebration of women that dramatically goes nowhere. Men, except for the worthless husband of statuesque Raimunda (Penelope Cruz), are largely absent. The fun of the movie is the expropriation by women of what used to be mistaken for male prerogatives. The tone is set in the opening sequence, panned right to left, where the womenfolk of a little Spanish town are busy tidying up the graves of their departed menfolk. The joke is not so much the quaint custom as the fact that the memorialized men are quite dead. Consider the central event of the film, the return from the dead of the matriarch Irene (Carmen Maura). The charmingly sprectral overtones obscure the fact that the impish Irene has actually been on the lam after murdering her husband and his mistress by setting fire to the old homestead. If Irene has been callous in murdering her husband, she shows herself to be nothing but compassionate in wielding a syringe with surprising competence. Now, if there were something for the pain of having to watch this movie. . . .

Penelope is distracting by ChefCFP June 21, 2007 - 8:17 AM PDT
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If you love Pedro Almodovar (as I do) you will like this movie even though it's definitely not among his best. Penelope Cruz is a wonderful actress, but she is so beautiful and glamorous, especially compared to all the other characters, that it is distracting. It's almost as though she is color and everyone else is in black and white. He must have done this intentionally as she dresses very stylishly and has different color hair (everyone else has auburn-reddish hair), but it doesn't make sense from a plot standpoint. She is supposed to be a hotel maid! As good as Penelope's acting is the overall movie would have been stronger I think had he cast someone who looks like she belongs with everyone else.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.52)
119 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2006
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
Films That Make U Wish U Weren't born in the US
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Alphabetical Order: Best Foreign Language Films that I've Seen
MDallum

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