Volver Film Review
GALA D: Pedro Almodóvar w/ Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura. Spain. 120 min. Friday, September 8, 9:30 PM ROY THOMSON HALL; Saturday, September 9, 9:30 AM RYERSON Rating: NNNNN
People who’ve only seen Cruz work in English think she can’t act. But in Spanish, with Almodóvar, she’s at home as a working-class mom who suddenly finds that her favorite aunt has died, her husband has died and her late mother (early Almodóvar stalwart Maura) has shown up, apparently as a ghost, and is living with another aunt, the mother’s ailing sister.
This is a return to the director’s early subjects, though the voluptuous, saturated colours and relatively stately style are in the mould of the later All About My Mother, Talk To Her and Bad Education. That is, it’s a fast story told slowly. It’s a little too slow and at two hours a little too long, but Cruz is stunningly good, and the rest of the cast (the female ensemble won best actress at Cannes) matches her.