Oscar

VOLVER and Pedro AlmodĂłvar's second golden age

Article: VOLVER and Pedro AlmodĂłvar's second golden age

Over the past three decades, Pedro AlmodĂłvar has become one of the most widely beloved filmmakers in the world. His 2006 drama VOLVER — on Sundance Channel tonight and all month — was one of his biggest popular and critical hits, garnering its star Penelope Cruz a Best Actress Oscar nomination and helping cement his status as one of the few foreign filmmakers who could rightfully be called a household name in the U.S. To those of us who have been following his career since the beginning, this has come as a welcome surprise.

BROKEN EMBRACES: Almodovar's picture puzzle

Article: BROKEN EMBRACES: Almodovar's picture puzzle

With the Oscar buzz in full swing, I decided it was time to catch up on some of the films that probably should-have-been-but-were-not part of that buzz starting with Pedro Almodovar’s BROKEN EMBRACES. It’s not fair to blame the Academy, after all Spain’s Oscar shortlist committee were the ones who curiously snubbed it. Once in the theater however, I forgot all about the Oscars. I dropped happily into Almodovar’s magical world of films within films, boldly graphic sets with paintings of fruit the size of boulders, and his headstrong Spanish women who seem to charge into every scene like beautiful matadors. Sure some of the dialogue was a little clunky and some of the twists and turns a tad more melodramatic than I usually like. But all I could think as I was leaving was a quote that I’ve heard attributed to the screenwriter Robert Towne: “A movie is five or six moments.” I, however, would tweak that slightly and say… an Almodovar movie is five or six luscious images you can’t forget…