Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Volver

Last night's DVD was the Spanish language Volver starring Penelope Cruz, the title comes from a song she sings about 2/3 of the way through the show. If they do a sequel to this movie, will it be called Re-volver?

A very pleasant movie, considering it starts in a cemetery with women scrubbing the headstones and assorted other marble, and has death and father-daughter rape as its main themes. It's billed as a Comedy/Drama, but there is nothing comic about it. There are no laughs, and nobody is going to live happily ever after. But it is about strong women in difficult situations, coping well.

Any discussion of the plot would be a spoiler, so I'll refrain.

Acting is uneven. Cruz is excellent, as is Yohana Cobo who plays her daughter. Carmen Maura plays her mother, and she has her moments, but this would have been an Oscar-winning role for a better actress. Pedro Almodovar wrote and directed the film, blame him for the uneven quality of the acting and the story. And for telegraphing the ending. This would have been a much better movie if the writer had more patience. Too many hints are dropped too heavily too soon.

Interesting thing about Cobo is while she is playing a girl of about 14, in the one semi-nude shot we see as her lecherous father pauses at her bedroom door, it's obvious she's a full-grown woman. Costuming hid that well, and Almodovar would have done better to resist the temptation - Cobo has appeared nude in other films (she's done 20 at last count).

I see from IMDB that the entire female ensemble of this film was awarded Best Actress at Cannes. While Cruz and Cobo may have deserved to share the honors, I don't think the others did quite so fine a job.

Photography was okay, there were some pans which made me dizzy and a gratuitous overhead shot of Cruz's tits while she prepared vegetables at the sink was poorly conceived. Audio was good, there were no special effects. Set dressing was good, costumes were "what do you have in your closet?".

Subtitles were good. I learned that "claro" which I thought meant "clearly" or "clear" is now used as a generic term of agreement.

Bottom line - worth renting.
Tags: review
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