Friday, December 01, 2006
The sins of the past can come back and heal rather than harm in the latest film from Pedro Almodovar. It was Almodovar who first brought our attention to Penelope Cruz. In "Volver", she returns to her native Spanish, where her work is far better than her English speaking roles. Here, working again with Almodovar, Cruz shines as the centerpiece of this intimate family drama.
Cruz plays mother, daughter, and sister in a family of women scarred by events of the past. When tragedy strikes again, it is up to Cruz to hold everything together and when a major revelation occurs, it appears to further complicate things. Almodovar is a master when it comes to writing for, and directing women. Everyone in the film is wonderful and there are many moments of quiet beauty and surprise.
"Volver" is possibly Almodovar's most commercial film yet even as he expands on themes he has covered in some of his more outrageous films. He has a remarkable touch for creating light and poetry out of dark subject matter.