DIRECTOR: PEDRO ALMODóVAR
CAST: PENéLOPE CRUZ, YOHANA COBO, CARMEN MAURA
Introduced by Mayukh Sen on 11/6.
Penélope Cruz leads a remarkable ensemble cast—the six main actresses shared a Best Actress award at Cannes in 2006—in Almodóvar’s comic drama, set in the Madrid suburbs and in the filmmaker’s native La Mancha region. Cruz’s Raimunda is a working-class woman who, in order to protect herself and her 14-year-old daughter, Paula (Yohana Cobo), must contend with corpse disposal, cancer, skeletons in the closet, and the suddenly returned ghost of her mother, Irene (Carmen Maura). Almodóvar approaches essentially tragic material from a comic perspective without ever coming off as glib and, reunited with frequent cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, renders an essentially death-haunted film in a riot of vibrant, celebratory color, making it less an occasion for mourning than a paean to feminine resilience.