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Pedro Almodovar - Spanish director Pedro Almodovar seen out and about in Manhattan - New York City, NY, United States - Tuesday 14th May 2013

Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar and Amanda Seyfriend - 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Arrivals - New York, NY, United States - Monday 6th May 2013

Pedro Almodovar and Amanda Seyfriend

Pedro Almodovar and Amanda Seyfried - 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City, NY, United States - Tuesday 7th May 2013

Pedro Almodovar and Amanda Seyfried
Pedro Almodovar and Amanda Seyfried

Pedro Almodovar - Hackney Picturehouse - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar - Pedro Almodovar leaving the Soho Hotel - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel - Pedro Almodovar, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas Sunday 15th January 2012 The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Golden Globes 2012) held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals

Pedro Almodovar, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel

Pedro Almodovar and Egyptian Theater Saturday 14th January 2012 Angelina Jolie

Pedro Almodovar and Egyptian Theater
Pedro Almodovar, Angelina Jolie, Jean-pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne and Egyptian Theater
Pedro Almodovar, Angelina Jolie and Egyptian Theater
Pedro Almodovar, Angelina Jolie and Egyptian Theater
Pedro Almodovar and Egyptian Theater
Pedro Almodovar and Egyptian Theater

Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar and Golden Globe Friday 13th January 2012 W Magazine's 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Celebration - Arrivals

Pedro Almodovar and Golden Globe
Pedro Almodovar and Golden Globe
Pedro Almodovar and Golden Globe

Elena Anaya, Pedro Almodovar and Rossy de Palma - Elena Anaya, Pedro Almodovar and Rossy De Palma New York City, USA - The Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit 2011 - Outside Arrivals Tuesday 15th November 2011

Elena Anaya, Pedro Almodovar and Rossy De Palma
Elena Anaya, Pedro Almodovar and Rossy De Palma
Elena Anaya
Pedro Almodovar and Elena Anaya
Elena Anaya
Pedro Almodovar and Elena Anaya

The Flower Of My Secret Review


Excellent
I've never enjoyed chick flicks.

Films like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason strike me as cinematic equivalents to crack pipe hits for girls. They are down and dirty, pass the goods, quick fixes. Most chick flicks aren't even romantic, unless your idea of romance is watching two people kiss, fight, and babble like infants. They hardly qualify as comedies, either; most are middling, sentimental and absurd. (Before the hate mail pours in, "guy" flicks are just as mindless: monotonous action, deus ex machina, T&A, and unremitting explosions. Neither is the victor in a contest for taste.) Good comedic romances, true romantic comedies, are very hard to come by. The Flower of My Secret is one of those rare romantic comedies that is both very romantic and quite funny.

Continue reading: The Flower Of My Secret Review

All About My Mother Review


Very Good
Director Pedro Almodovar explains the relationship between tunnels and the main character of Manuela (Cecila Roth) in All About My Mother with the line: "Manuela runs away. She always runs away on a train, through endless tunnels."

Indeed, Manuela is always moving. With the untimely death of her son, Estoban, she moves to Barcelona to embark upon a search for Estoban's father. In Barcelona, she is constantly moving from one place to another, doing something or another for someone. Save a transsexual prostitute (Antonio San Juan) here, help a pregnant nun (Penelope Cruz) there. Help smooth out the turbulent lesbian relationship between two actresses (Marisa Paredes and Candela Pena) here, usher an older woman (Rosa Maria Sarda) into a great understanding of life there. She never stops.

Continue reading: All About My Mother Review

Talk To Her Review


Excellent
The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar is one of our finest imports. He has a talent for creating entertaining stories from the most difficult universal condition, often through deftly balancing melodrama and comedy, such as in the operatic stylings of All About My Mother or the more simplistically toned Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. His latest, Talk to Her, returns Almodóvar to a more interactive sentimentality through a pair of male pals that bond over their desire for comatose patients.

This central focus, the platonically affectionate friendship of two men, is admirably rare to begin with. Sure, men are pals in domestic-made features, but they rarely hug or discuss emotional dysfunction because American society is so homophobic. Audiences and critics alike are attuned to the slightest hint that a film might be presenting a gay character or subplot so that it can be easy to dismiss even the most intelligent works of fiction as simply "queer" without giving it the further attention to human issues it deserves. One would think that writer/director Almodóvar would lean more towards gay/lesbian issues, being a homosexual, but he thankfully seems bent on capturing the essence of people, in all their parts, and not just whom they choose to sleep with. His consistently honest stance, both in interviews and film projects, fuels his ability to intelligently articulate heart-wrenching and heartwarming experiences with all of his creations, regardless of sexual orientation.

Continue reading: Talk To Her Review

Live Flesh Review


Very Good
Witness the increasing promise of Pedro Almodóvar, in a film that has gone largely unnoticed in his career but stands as a worthy and mostly mainstream entry into his unique style of twisted relationship movies. Live Flesh is uncommonly convoluted as a setup -- involving a love triangle between a cop that was shot and paralyzed, the man who shot him, and a girl -- but pretty straightforward in the delivery. Some of the erotic imagery is unforgettable. The film itself is less so, but still a worthwhile experience.

Continue reading: Live Flesh Review

Volver Review


Excellent
Pedro Almodóvar's Volver is a witty and woozy paean to the off-kilter wonder that is Spanish womanhood. Again. At this stage in his career, one isn't expecting too much else from Almodóvar than further explorations of the semi-camp, lightly magical territory that he has staked out as his own for close to three decades now; but that doesn't mean he can't still astonish. Unlike Woody Allen, who also works within a similarly rich but limited set of constraints, Almodóvar manages to make each film seem like an entirely new creation.

Volver starts with a wonderfully lyrical scene in which the old women of a rural village clean the headstones in a graveyard during a fantastic windstorm -- the blowing leaves quickly render absurd any cleaning. The village is a slightly unreal place anyway, populated mostly by the very old (in actuality, a common occurrence in Spain) and known far and wide for the wind, which is reputed to drive the inhabitants insane. The stars are a pair of sisters, Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) and Sole (Lole Dueñas) who long ago decamped for Madrid, much like Almodóvar himself did as a child (he shot the village scenes in his hometown of La Mancha). The sisters' parents died in a fire years back, but they return on occasion to check in on their elderly aunt, Paula (Chus Lampreave, who has mellowed here somewhat since her hilariously venomous turn in Almodóvar's 1995 film The Flower of My Secret). They still feel that tenuous link to their ancestral village, but with their parents dead and unfulfilling lives in the city, the two seem stuck in a hazy netherworld, home in neither place.

Continue reading: Volver Review

Bad Education Review


Extraordinary
Pedro Almodóvar's films have always oozed adoration for tawdry movie melodrama, from the Telemundo-on-cocaine gaudiness of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the sweet, sentimental "women's picture" romance of The Flower of My Secret. And the auteur's latest, Bad Education, may be his defining statement on the fundamental relationship between ordinary life and the illusions projected large in dark, mysterious movie houses. A fantasia of Almodóvar's trademark hang-ups that nonetheless surpasses his previous outings in scope, structure, and heart, the movie is a marvelous, noir-inspired meditation on love, sex, and identity that pulses with florid passion. It may be the best film of the year.

Almodóvar's narrative is a marvel of temporal-shifting beauty, seamlessly moving back and forth between the film's "present" of 1988, the immediate past, and a short story written by Angel (Gael García Bernal) which segues among 1988, 1977, and the 1960s while featuring its own story-within-a-story. While such convoluted chronological fracturing is initially confusing, the ultimate effect of the director's time-hopping plot construction - especially considering that Bernal tackles multiple, intimately related roles - is that one quickly finds the boundaries between reality and fiction melting away. Life and art symbiotically imitate each other in Almodóvar's colorful, hot-blooded world, with no discussion of the one complete without mention of the other. And with the story of Angel and Enrique, boyhood friends at Catholic school who are reunited years later and become involved in a semi-autobiographical movie about their youth, the relationship between fiction and reality becomes so blurred that, by film's end, there's no way to distinguish between the two.

Continue reading: Bad Education Review

Live Flesh Review


Very Good
Witness the increasing promise of Pedro Almodóvar, in a film that has gone largely unnoticed in his career but stands as a worthy and mostly mainstream entry into his unique style of twisted relationship movies. Live Flesh is uncommonly convoluted as a setup -- involving a love triangle between a cop that was shot and paralyzed, the man who shot him, and a girl -- but pretty straightforward in the delivery. Some of the erotic imagery is unforgettable. The film itself is less so, but still a worthwhile experience.

Continue reading: Live Flesh Review

The Holy Girl Review


OK
Lucrecia Martel's The Holy Girl has its finger on something for sure, it's just not quite sure what to do with it. An Argentinean film of rare beauty and smoldering sensuality, it's set in an old, family-run hotel where a medical conference is taking place. The young teenage girl of the title, Amalia (Maria Alché) lives in the hotel and is possessed of an uncommonly emotional religious fervor. There's an old European spirit to her spiritual devotion, which is brought to an even higher pitch by the church study sessions she attends after choir (in a different age, you almost feel that she would have found a way to get martyred, and there would be a church consecrated in her memory). But Amalia has little idea how to vent her feelings, other than in prayer and at her best friend and semi-girlfriend Josefina (Julieta Zylberberg), who seems to share both Amalia's religious passion and her romantic yearnings.

However, both girls have other outlets for their feelings. Josefina has a boy whom she allows to come over and have sex with her, but only if she's turned away from him and he doesn't talk. Amalia's passions take a darker bent one day when she's out in the street with a crowd watching a man playing a spooky piece on a Theremin, when one of the doctors in town for the conference comes up behind her and rubs up against her suggestively. They don't say a word and she barely sees him as he scurries off. In what most would take as an unfortunate turn of events, this Dr. Jano (Carlos Belloso) is the man whom Amalia's mother Helena (the impossibly beautiful Mercedes Morán) decides to spark up a relationship with. But Amalia seems to take this as a challenge, as she sets about trying to save Dr. Jano from his own darker impulses, a mission that takes on certain romantic shadings the more involved she gets.

Continue reading: The Holy Girl Review

All About My Mother Review


Very Good
Director Pedro Almodovar explains the relationship between tunnels and the main character of Manuela (Cecila Roth) in All About My Mother with the line: "Manuela runs away. She always runs away on a train, through endless tunnels."

Indeed, Manuela is always moving. With the untimely death of her son, Estoban, she moves to Barcelona to embark upon a search for Estoban's father. In Barcelona, she is constantly moving from one place to another, doing something or another for someone. Save a transsexual prostitute (Antonio San Juan) here, help a pregnant nun (Penelope Cruz) there. Help smooth out the turbulent lesbian relationship between two actresses (Marisa Paredes and Candela Pena) here, usher an older woman (Rosa Maria Sarda) into a great understanding of life there. She never stops.

Continue reading: All About My Mother Review

The Flower Of My Secret Review


Excellent
I've never enjoyed chick flicks.

Films like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason strike me as cinematic equivalents to crack pipe hits for girls. They are down and dirty, pass the goods, quick fixes. Most chick flicks aren't even romantic, unless your idea of romance is watching two people kiss, fight, and babble like infants. They hardly qualify as comedies, either; most are middling, sentimental and absurd. (Before the hate mail pours in, "guy" flicks are just as mindless: monotonous action, deus ex machina, T&A, and unremitting explosions. Neither is the victor in a contest for taste.) Good comedic romances, true romantic comedies, are very hard to come by. The Flower of My Secret is one of those rare romantic comedies that is both very romantic and quite funny.

Continue reading: The Flower Of My Secret Review

The Devil's Backbone Review


Very Good
Guillermo del Toro returns to Spanish-language thrillseeking with this creepfest, a period piece ghost story that often gets under your skin, though not quite with the same dramatic flair as Cronos. Del Toro puts the action at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, plopping us at a remote orphanage in the desert countryside. The orphanage has bigger problems than Franco, however: There's gold hidden in them thar walls, an unexploded bomb in the courtyard, and a dead kid at the bottom of a pool. Throw into the mix some pickled fetuses (and one horrific scene where the old patriarch drinks some of the brine), and you're set up for a freakshow royale.

Continue reading: The Devil's Backbone Review

Pedro Almodovar

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Pedro Almodovar Movies

Julieta Trailer

Julieta Trailer

Antía and her mother, Julieta have always had quite a strained relationship. At the age...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Wild Tales Movie Review

Wild Tales Movie Review

From Argentina, this Oscar-nominated collection of six short, sharp stories leaves us gasping for breath...

I'm So Excited! [Los Amantes Pasajeros] Movie Review

I'm So Excited! [Los Amantes Pasajeros] Movie Review

Fans of more recent Almodovar films like The Skin I Live In or Volver should...

The Skin I Live In Movie Review

The Skin I Live In Movie Review

With his bold, assured filmmaking style and heavy echoes of Hitchcock's Vertigo, Almodovar creates a...

The Headless Woman [La Mujer Sin Cabeza] Movie Review

The Headless Woman [La Mujer Sin Cabeza] Movie Review

There's so much going on in between the lines of this film that it can...

Broken Embraces [los Abrazos Rotos] Movie Review

Broken Embraces [los Abrazos Rotos] Movie Review

Perhaps not as dazzling as Almodovar's masterpieces, this film is still an involving and sleekly...

Bad Education Movie Review

Bad Education Movie Review

Pedro Almodóvar's films have always oozed adoration for tawdry movie melodrama, from the Telemundo-on-cocaine gaudiness...

All About My Mother Movie Review

All About My Mother Movie Review

Director Pedro Almodovar explains the relationship between tunnels and the main character of Manuela (Cecila...

Talk to Her Movie Review

Talk to Her Movie Review

The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar is one of our finest imports. He has a...

Volver Movie Review

Volver Movie Review

Pedro Almodóvar's Volver is a witty and woozy paean to the off-kilter wonder that is...

Bad Education Movie Review

Bad Education Movie Review

Pedro Almodóvar's films have always oozed adoration for tawdry movie melodrama, from the Telemundo-on-cocaine gaudiness...

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