Two acclaimed Spanish language films are the highlights this week: “Volver” by Pedro Almodovar and “Romantico” from Mark Becker. Perhaps the most acclaimed foreign language film of the year so far, Almodovar’s “Volver,” which debuted to considerable acclaim at Cannes this year and has garnered growing awards season buzz, particularly for the lead performance by Penelope Cruz. Widely considered a lock for a best actress Oscar nomination, Cruz stars in a film that Almodovar said (back in Cannes) is his, “deepest return to my roots.” The Spanish auteur returned to La Mancha, where he was born, to explore the story of a group of women, with characters inspired by women from his own childhood.
As indieWIRE reported in the Cannes dispatch, “Volver” begins on a blustery, sunny day as a group of women in a cemetery clean the gravestones of the dead. Penelope Cruz stars as a young woman with teenaged daughter and an out of work husband, her own mother killed in a tragic fire in a small windy town in La Mancha. The dead grandmother, played by Carmen Maura, returns to visit the women in her life and the many secrets of their own family are revealed over the course of the film.
“More than about death itself, the screenplay talks about the rich culture that surrounds death in the region of La Mancha, where I was born,” Almodovar wrote in an entry of his production diary that was published in indieWIRE. “It is about the way (not tragic at all) in which various female characters, of different generations, deal with this culture.”
THE LIST FOR THIS WEEK:
“Commune” (November 3), directed by Jonathan Berman.
Distributor Five Points Media. Official website
“Wondrous Oblivion” (November 3), directed by Paul Morrison.
Distributor: Palm Pictures. Official website