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Raimunda, her daughter Paula and her sister Sole travel from Madrid to the windy and superstitious village of Alcanfor de las Infantas to visit the grave of their mother Irene, who died years ago in a fire with her husband. Then they visit Irene's sister Paula, an old senile aunt that raised Raimunda after the death of her parents that insists to tell them that Irene is alive and living with her; later, they go to the house of her neighbor and friend Agustina, who gives a support to Paula. They return to Madrid, and after a hard day of work, Raimunda meets her daughter completely distraught at the bus stop waiting for her. When they arrive home, Paula tells her mother that she killed her unemployed father Paco, who was completely drunk and tried to rape her. While Raimunda hides his body, Sole calls her to tell that their beloved aunt Paula has died. The next morning, Sole travels alone to the funeral, and when she returns to Madrid, she finds her mother hidden in the trunk of her car... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An extremely kind, compassionate and tender film noir, from Spain's most internationally acclaimed filmmaker, might lack some of the suspense his other movies are famous for, but still it keeps the spectator thrilled and anxious until the very last moments. Anyone who likes Almodovar movies should see this one, and you can bring your family along, for a change (kids and grandmas alike).
Indeed, the movie lacks some of the usual Almodovar suspense, and whatever mysteries it contains, are generally solved by the viewer some 20 minutes before they are explicitly and verbally elaborated on screen. It looks like Almodovar lost some of his interest in the telltale part of his movies, paying more attention to acting and emotions. Well, acting is fully worth the shift.
Penelope Cruz is predictably brilliant and gorgeous, but performance by other ladies (from the elderly Chuz Lampreave to teenage Cobo) is also worth applause.
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