Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Parallel Mothers’ Set to Close NYFF 2021

Almodóvar returns to the festival for his family drama reuniting him with Penélope Cruz
Parallel Mothers
"Parallel Mothers"
El Deseo

Film at Lincoln Center has announced Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers” as the closing night selection of the 59th New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere October 8 at Alice Tully Hall. Sony Pictures Classics will then release “Parallel Mothers” in theaters on December 24. The film is written and directed by Almodóvar, and stars both regular and new collaborators, including Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, plus Julieta Serrano and Rossy De Palma.

Here’s the NYFF synopsis: “In this muted contemporary melodrama, two women, a generation apart, find themselves inextricably linked by their brief time together in a maternity ward. The circumstances that brought them to the Madrid hospital are quite different — one accidental, the other traumatic — and a secret, hiding the truth of the bond that connects these two, is a powerful story that tackles a deep trauma in Spanish history. Penélope Cruz’s Janis is a uniquely complex, flawed, but ultimately alluring lead character, who finds herself in a morally and emotionally treacherous situation. She’s viewed in contrast with Ana, radiantly portrayed by newcomer Milena Smit, a discovery who brings a palpable innocence, pain, and longing to this interwoven portrait of women and motherhood. These charismatic stars inhabit characters who are singular among those drawn by Almodóvar in a career defined by striking portraits of women.”

As previously announced, NYFF mainstay Almodóvar’s drama is opening this year’s Venice Film Festival on September 1.

“It is always a privilege and an honor to feel that I am part of the most significant films of the season,” said director Pedro Almodóvar in a statement. “After more than 30 years, the NYFF has become my second home. It is the best reason to visit New York and to see the best films of the year.”

“Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s long relationship with the New York Film Festival spans more than three decades and a dozen films,” said NYFF director Eugene Hernandez. “He returns this year with Parallel Mothers, a stirring and somber exploration of secrets and hidden histories — those sometimes found in families and often buried by societies — and how those skeletons can shape the course of individual lives and entire cultures. We’re thrilled to have Pedro back at NYFF to conclude this 59th edition!”

Running September 24 through October 10, NYFF will feature a combination of in-person, outdoor, and virtual screenings, with a comprehensive series of health and safety policies in coordination with state and city medical experts.

As previously announced, this year’s NYFF will open with Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” and will feature Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” as the festival centerpiece.

Check out the teaser trailer for “Parallel Mothers” here.

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