2006   Spain Volver
Volver Image Cover
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Director:Pedro Almodóvar
Studio:Sony Pictures
Writer:Pedro Almodóvar
IMDb Rating:7.6 (38,697 votes)
Awards:Nominated for Oscar. Another 44 wins & 46 nominations
Genre:Comedy, Drama
Duration:121 min
Pedro Almodóvar  ...  (Director)
Pedro Almodóvar  ...  (Writer)
Penélope Cruz  ...  Raimunda
Carmen Maura  ...  Irene
Lola Dueñas  ...  Sole
Blanca Portillo  ...  Agustina
Yohana Cobo  ...  Paula
Chus Lampreave  ...  Tía Paula
Antonio de la Torre  ...  Paco
Carlos Blanco  ...  Emilio
María Isabel Díaz  ...  Regina (as Isabel Díaz)
Neus Sanz  ...  Inés (as Nieves Sanz Escobar)
Leandro Rivera  ...  Auxiliar Producción
Yolanda Ramos  ...  Presentadora TV
Carlos García Cambero  ...  Carlos
Pepa Aniorte  ...  Vecina
Elvira Cuadrupani  ...  Vecina
María Alfonsa Rosso  ...  Vecina (as Alfonsa Rosso)
José Luis Alcaine  ...  Cinematographer
Summary: Spanish for "Coming Back,"Volver is a return to the all-female format of All About My Mother. Unlike Pedro Almodóvar's previous two pictures, the story revolves around a group of women in Madrid and his native La Mancha. (The cast received a collective best actress award at Cannes.) Raimunda (a zaftig Penélope Cruz) is the engine powering this heartfelt, yet humorous vehicle. When husband Paco (Antonio de la Torre) is murdered, Raimunda makes like Mildred Pierce to deflect attention away from daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo). After telling everyone the lout has left, she struggles to conceal his body. The other women in her life all have secrets of their own. Her sister, Sole (Lola Dueñas), for instance, has taken in their mother, Irene (a sprightly Carmen Maura). Since Irene perished in a fire, is this person a ghost or simply a woman who looks like her? Then there's their childhood friend, Agustina (Blanca Portillo), who is desperate to find out why her mother disappeared after the blaze. Was she responsible? Almodóvar deftly blends the ghost story with the murder mystery in his tribute to the Italian neo-realist films of the 1950s. The resilient Raimunda is a throwback to the earthy heroines of Sophia Loren and Anna Magnani. The latter appears in Luchino Visconti's Bellissima, which shows up on Sole's television one night (thus confirming the link). If Almodóvar's 16th feature lacks the emotional punch of the more audacious Talk to Her, it's less heavy-handed than Bad Education and Cruz is a revelation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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