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Winner ~ Best Actress (the entire cast) ~ Cannes Festival 2006

Volver – a dazzlingly assured blend of comedy and serious psychological drama – is in some respects a ghost story. Penélope Cruz takes the lead as the hard-working housewife and mother who finds herself lumbered not only with troubling debts, but with a murdered husband, a daughter going through those difficult teenage years, and a slightly neurotic sister who believes their mother has returned from the dead. And maybe she has, since Carmen Maura – making her first film with Almodóvar since Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown – soon turns up in the trunk of the sister’s car, insisting she stay in her house. If all this sounds rather farcical, nothing could be further from the truth. The comedy here is firmly grounded in the observation of character and social custom, from the opening tableau of dozens of widows in a cemetery polishing their dear departed’s tombs, to the affectionate snipes made between siblings, all too aware that their parents viewed and treated them rather differently. For an hour it all flits along with brilliant if seemingly featherweight ease, until Cruz suddenly realises her daughter has never once heard her sing. She launches into the song that gives the movie its title, at which point the movie suddenly shifts into an altogether different register and you discover that this tale is far more resonant and relevant than any mere comic trifle. By the time it’s ended, it becomes clear that during that first hour, Almodóvar was in fact very carefully putting all the elements into place for a majestic tribute to women’s cunning, courage and capacity for love that is as cathartic as anything he’s done. And, of course, just as enjoyable. – Geoff Andrew, Time Out London
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Directed by: 
Pedro Almodóvar
Running Time: 
Spanish with English subtitles
Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Yohana Cobo, Blanca Portillo, Antonio de la Torre, Chus Lampreave
Screenplay by: 
Pedro Almodóvar

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