As part of my resolution to "see more movies," Peevil and I went to "Volver" last night at the Princess Cinema (Peevil and I also have a resolution to "see more of each other," so we both bought memberships, and now we can't come up with excuses).
I've loved Pedro Almodovar's films since my first exposure -- I think it was "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down." I miss the raunchy, silly campiness of his older films in the same way that I miss John Waters' old-time craziness...but unlike Waters, Almodovar has mellowed into something beautiful and strange. He's no longer making movies about nuns on LSD, but he's not making blockbusters either. His films are as crazy as ever, really...but he's learned to relax. I think I've finally learned to relax with him.
As always, Volver stars unconventionally beautiful women (Lola Duenas is the logical, toned-down follow up to Rossy de Palma's "pretty but shouldn't really be" standards...far prettier than Penelope Cruz anyday). These women -- as always -- work towards gaining independence from men and towards friendship with each other. Crazy stuff happens and everybody stands around and acts like it's sort of normal. Almodovar stalwarts Carmen Maura and Chus Lampreave (she'll always be Sister Rat to me!) are just so darn GOOD and so darn SPECIAL that it makes my heart ache.
The plot? Well, Peevil and I had already figured out the two big twists halfway through, but we still enjoyed the development. You tend to know what Almodovar's up to, but you never know how he'll present it. I also notice that when you watch his films in a crowd, people don't know whether they're supposed to laugh or not. Sadly the two old ladies behind me decided to live on the edge and laugh at everything, and they were sorely in need of a pepsodent soak. Peevil didn't notice because she had her nose buried in her coat; the theatre was freezing.
Anyway: go into Volver expecting an intriguing, funny, harrowing story about Spanish women with curvy bums. That way you'll get what you want and you won't be disappointed.