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Pedro Almodovar

Los Abrazos Rotos * Pedro Almodóvar (2009)

Not exactly the mystery thriller that Netflix promised, but there is a very good reason to watch this film if you have not yet seen it: Penelope Cruz who is absolutely stunning. Cruz plays the girlfriend of a rich man, but she also becomes actress so Almodóvar could experiment with her hair (it all looks wonderfull) and style and shift from ‘real life’ to ‘film life’. Naturally Cruz’ man is jealous and that is exactly what the film is about. In the Almodóvar style the film is told in flashbacks and as a history told to someone else. The span of the film covers many years which allowed the director different atmospheres and returning characters. Nothing brilliant, but like most Almodóvars a nice film to watch.

La Piel Que Habito * Pedro Almodóvar (2011)

Presented as a thriller comes the latest Almodóvar which seems to get most attention because Antonio Banderas plays the mayor part. Banderas is Robert Ledgard, a leading plastic surgeon with operation rooms inside his house. In his private place Ledgard does experiments many of his colleagues disapprove of. Things get even more weird in the actual story which is actually but a variant of one of the oldest horror stories. The film jumps back and forth in time to present the unlikely story. I cannot say that “The Skin I Live In” is a very original or even a good film. In a way it is a horror story in an arthouse cloth and it is not like the acting is bad or the film boring, but it is but an arthouse film.

Volver * Pedro Almodóvar * 2006

As people who follow Almodóvar a bit know, the director makes very good and less interesting productions. The better films usually are around a group of tempered, Spanish women in a few chaotic days of their lives in which the strangest situations occur. “Volver” is one of those. We follow the gorgeous Penelope Cruz for a few hectic days. “Volver” is not as hilarious as some of other films of Almodóvar, but still a very typical film of the director and surely one of the better ones.

Todo Sobre Mi Madre * Pedro Almodóvar * 1999

all about my mother

Almodóvar has a long “filmography” of which I have only seen “Habre Con Ella” (‘talk to her’) and now this one. I am not quite sure what the title refers to, but the story is about Manuela who travels back and forth from Barcelona and Madrid fleeing circumstances. First she was a prostitude and fled when getting pregnant, her son dies and she returns, but circumstances again force her to leave. And come back… “Todo Sobre Mi Madre” is a nice Spanish drama with a story that is sometimes not too easy to follow, various storylines run through eachother. The acting is good, the subjects maybe controversial, especially the way the personages deal with prostitution, HIV-infection, transsexuality, etc. An insight in a not-too-well-known part of society.

Mujeres Al Borde De Un Ataque De Nervios * Pedro Almodóvar * 1988

women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

In the local library my eye fell on a box of Almodóvar films, three and including his most recent film “Volver”. Coming home it appeared to be a four-DVD box, but the DVD with “Volver” isn’t there… So in the coming days you will probably see three Almodóvar films, but not the one that I wanted to see most. Anyway, “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown” is a magnificent film. It may be a bit of a women’s film, but I laughed my ass off. The film has an atmosphere and the humour of “Eight Femmes”, but then it is not a musical. A few women are portrayed, not in the best parts of the lives. As the film continues the stories get weirder, the style more hectic and the women are loosing their minds. Brilliantly played, great montage, good humour and a magnificent story that gets more and more crazy. Inspite of its age, surely a recommended film.

Matador * Pedro Almodóvar * 1986

“Matador” is the last film in the Almodóvar box (apparently the library left out “Volver” to rent it separately). This film is more entertaining than “La Ley Del Deseo” and there are many returning actors. “Matador” is about people with a death-fetish and has the usual Almodóvar amount of sex and shock. However the film is good in story, acting, etc. I found it merely fine. Not a boring watch, but no top-film either.

La Ley Del Deseo * Pedro Almodóvar * 1987

law of desire

The film director Pablo seduces young men of which two fall in love with him. Since Pablo is no man of relations, he keeps both of them at a distance, but one of the young men can’t stand the situation. Quite a dull homo-erotic film. I recently saw something similar, but in that case I turned it off after half an hour. This film of Almodóvar was not that bad, but still not too interesting either.

Hable Con Ella * Pedro Almodóvar * 2002

Talk To Her

This film has been on my ‘wanting-to-see-list’ for a long time, but not so high that I saw it soon. Another Spanish drama, parts of the lives of different people coming together and not really leading anyway. I won’t tell you about the story, that would take away too much, I can tell you that this is another very nice drama with a very nice story and very good acting. Of course in Spanish and if you liked the other titles I reviewed, I asume this one won’t disappoint you.