Has anyone else noticed that when Penelope Cruz acts in any other language besides English the film is guaranteed to be good? Seriously! I love the girl, but really she has to stop making English films. In Spanish she has been in such strong films as Volver (Oscar Award nomination), Jamon Jamon and All About My Mother. Even in Italian (which she learned for the film) she was wonderful in Don't Move. But in English she has been el stinko! Remember she has done such classics as Sahara, Sex in the City 2 and Vanilla Sky. I need someone to explain this phenomenon to me…and maybe to Penelope as well.
In this film she is back with her beloved (and the feeling is mutual) Pedro Almodovar (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Talk to Her). He is a great director who makes intelligent, passionate films and they are a great tandem. Penelope is definitely his muse.
Harry Caine (Lluis Homar – Bad Education) is a blind screenwriter who has an assistant named Judit (Blanca Portillo – Volver) and her son Diego (Tamar Novas – The Sea Inside, Goya's Ghost) working for him. His past comes back to haunt him after he learns of the death of Ernesto Martel (Jose Luis Gomez – Goya's Ghosts), a wealthy businessman. Ernesto's son comes to see Harry and everything unravels.
In a series of flashbacks we see the man Harry used to be. Sighted he was then named Mateo Blanco and falls in love with Martel's mistress, Lena (Penelope Cruz) Harry/Mateo has cast her in a film that he has written and is directing and is being funded by Martel. Martel is a jealous man and sends his son to make a documentary film of the film. What he is really trying to do is to follow Lena and Harry/Mateo around at every moment. His son gives him everyday's footage and he watches it. It is a recipe for disaster what is going on.
Hmm…a story of a director who is obsessed with his leading lady. Pedro meet Penelope. Penelope meet Peter. This is a film that certainly hits close to home.
Once again Almodovar brings out the best in Penelope who really gives a strong and yet subtle performance. It is a film where everyone is working at their peak. The story is complex yet understandable and engaging. Plenty of passion, sex, crying, screaming, and every other emotion you can think going at full tilt. It is told in that wild, colourful and larger than life style that has won Almodovar praise time and time again. He makes films that are powerful both emotionally and visually.
-The Cannibalistic Councillor
-Pedro Directs Penelope
-On the Red Carpet: The New York Film Festival Closing Night
-Variety Q+A with Penelope Cruz
-Previews of Blu-ray Disc is High Definition!, An Education, The White Ribbon, Fireflies in the Garden, A Prophet, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Coco Before Chanel, Talk to Her, All About My Mother, and Vover