On Friday 17th I attended the special preview screening at ACMI of Pedro Almodovar’s new film Volver, which stars Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura. ‘Volver’ means ‘coming back’ or ‘the return’ or something like that. The film title is not translated in the opening credit subtitles so you only learn this (if you don’t speak Spanish) through one quick line of dialogue later in the film.
It’s a strange film – it seems less coherent than previous Almodovar films, but once the premise is established it becomes much more structured, with some very clever and emotionally sophisticated plot developments. Penelope is wonderful as always. I won’t say anything about the story, as it is not released for another month and I hate spoilers! Search elsewhere if you need to know more about it.
I remember seeing Penelope in Jamon Jamon and thinking that she (and also her co-star Javier Bardem) would become a major star. No one believed me. Maybe it was because the films of director Bigas Luna are less popular in English speaking countries than those of Almodovar. Most likely, it was because my obsession with beautiful European actresses none of my friends had ever heard of was seen to overly influence my opinion of their talent. I am of course deeply superficial!