Pedro Almodóvar, the Oscar-winning writer-director of such international successes as TALK TO HER and WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, returns to his hometown of La Mancha in Spain for the tender VOLVER. Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) is trying to keep her family together despite her husband's (Antonio de la Torre) inability to keep his job; when a terrible incident occurs at home, Raimunda covers it up in order to protect her daughter, Paula (Yohana Cobo). Meanwhile, Raimunda's sister, Sole (Lola Dueñas), believes that their mother, Irene (Carmen Maura), has come back from the dead; Sole even has the resurrected Irene working in the illegal hair salon she has set up in her apartment. Sole and their neighbor Agustina (Blanca Portillo), who had been taking care of their aged aunt (Chus Lampreave), try to keep this secret from Raimunda, with both funny and heartbreaking results--and the revealing of yet more secrets.
Once again Almodóvar, who won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes for VOLVER, displays his unique talent for creating fascinating female characters in this intricate study of three generations of women. The acting is a tour de force all around; the cast of VOLVER--which means "to return"--is a bit of a homecoming for Almodóvar as well, as he's previously worked with Cruz (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER), Dueñas (TALK TO HER), and especially Maura (many times, including MATADOR and LAW OF DESIRE, but not in 17 years). VOLVER is a deeply personal, emotionally moving story of a very different kind of family, told by a master filmmaker at the peak of his talent.
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