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Blame it on the Wind

It’s easier to accept the unexpected when you come from a village known for its crazy.

What happens when we talk to the dead … whether those people have actually passed or are mere memories of those sent to our own individual purgatories?

And what happens when they do talk back? Do we listen or turn our backs in disbelief? Maybe it takes a ghost in the trunk of your car to get your attention.

Almodóvar’s newest film, Volvér, tells the story of a mother’s return to the family of women she left behind, nearly 4 years after her death. While not as over the top (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down or Women on the Verge) or darkly clever (All About my Mother, Bad Education) as some of his previous works, it’s full of his signature dysfunctional passion, humor and warmth.

It's understated, and a little campy (especially the Hitchcockian score in the first reel), but a far cry from the movie-within-a-movie and giant vaginas of his last last couple of movies.

That said, it’s really lovely. Penelope Cruz usually annoys me, but not today. Today she was, well she was just shy of spectacular. She was beautiful and driven, eyes full of repressed emotion. She should never be allowed to act in, let alone speak, English again. The rest of the cast was superb, especially Carmen Maura (Irene), Lola Dueñas (Sole), and Blanca Portillo (Agustina).

Sometimes I caught myself looking at my watch, but that could be accounted to the 30 minutes of ads and trailers they showed before rolling the feature. That said, once it was over and I’d left the theater, the more I thought about Volvér, the more I liked it. Very, very much. Usually it’s the other way around.

I think it’s Almodóvar’s Secrets and Lies. Go see it tell me what you think.

In the meantime, forgive your ghosts … they might not even know what they did wrong.