Monday, November 06, 2006
Many happy returns
Pedro Almodovar's latest offering Volver is a candy-colored valentine of a black comedy showcasing a gaggle of loveable ladies (Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas and Yohana Cobo) who earn the audience's affection with great grace and humor. While this film lacks the sure-handed maturity and poignant wisdom of Almodovar's masterpiece Talk to Her or the irresistible energy of his comic gem Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Volver is an enjoyable ride that sent me out of the theater with a lingering smile.
While the "secret" in this film isn't well-hidden and the story loses fizz about three-quarters of the way through, Cruz's vivacity and the film's visual vibrancy are completely intoxicating. As usual, Almodovar peppers the script with his warm and sly wit for peak comic deliciousness. Despite the film's flaws, from first frame to final title sequence Almodovar's deep and abiding love for cinema and his leading ladies is tangible. Bravo.