I finally saw Volver last night, with Liz. O. M. G. I think I might have a new favorite for 2006. It's absolutely one of my new favorites by Almodóvar. It's always hard for me to think objectively about Spanish cinema because the warm fuzzies are such a part of it for me: the people who look like people I knew as a kid; the interiors with stark-white walls, lots of dark wood, plants, and funky knick-knacks; the big earrings; and all the other little conventions of life. Who knew Penélope Cruz could be such a force of nature? The best thing she ever did was leave Hollywood. The singing scene had me in tears (I know it wasn't her singing, but still). And speaking of forces of nature, her cleavage was definitely working for her (Liz kept going on and on about it as we were leaving the theater—not embarrassing at all, naaaah), and it was covered by the most excellent cardigans EVER (covet covet covet—the knits, not the tits). Visually, the whole thing was beautifully designed and shot. But it didn't just look good. It had a heart and a brain. At first I was worried that it was going to be some kind of simpleminded feminist fable—without wanting to spoil anything, a certain revelation is made right near the end that I think is always very, very tricky to negotiate in a story—but it avoided that trap and actually delivered a lot more nuance than I was expecting.
This movie definitely pushed my "again, again" buttons. Sometimes I have to watch something over and over and over before I feel like I've taken in every bit of what it has to offer (the way I did with, oh the shame, Pride & Prejudice about a year ago). If I didn't have Stella, I'd probably be back at the theater every night this week.