As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat.
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
A film by Almodovar- sends a tingle down my spine every time. The capitalized print which opens the Spanish auteur's latest feature instantly induces memories of salacious nuns, gentle necrophiliacs, wisecracking transsexuals and I haven't even got as far as the infant-terrible's critically reviled early work. And after a beautiful opening montage, with the camera roving across a wind-swept graveyard animated by a hoard of widows feverishly scrubbing tombstones, I thought Pedro had me again under his wicked spell.
Yet once my nostalgia had subsided, there was very little to fill its place. For a director who revels in bringing humanity to assassins and rapists, he does a very poor job at finding any emotional depth or endearing quality in his women. Penelope Cruz is Raimunda, a headstrong housewife whose life is complicated by her daughter's accidental killing of her abusive husband. Thankfully she lives in Almodovar's Spain where your friends will quite happily help to dispose of a corpse for the offer of a round of cocktails. Add to the melting-pot the ghost of Raimunda's mother and a host of other eccentrically warm-hearted matriarchs. "Volver" means literally to return, and Pedro does appear to be recycling old material. The sub-plot of incest feels as though it were tacked-on as the obligatory "taboo". Instead of commenting on or subverting the issue, as with his treatment of paedophilia in Bad Education, it feels forced and unconvincing amid the film's chick-flick sentimentality. I suggest Almodovar call his next film Salir (to move on).
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