Starring: Penélope Cruz, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Julieta Serrano, Rossy de Palma, Pedro Casablanc and Adelfa Calvo
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Parallel Mothers is a flawed yet beautiful film. I had some issues with Pedro Almodóvar’s directorial style, but I’ve never been much of a fan anyway. For me, Almodóvar always worked better as a writer, and this film is no exception. The film’s exploration of motherhood is told through a wonderfully crafted and engaging story that takes both shocking and heartbreaking turns, which are brought to life by an amazing Penélope Cruz. She nails both the internal and external emotions that her character must deal with perfectly. I didn’t love the ending, but I loved nearly everything else.
Pedro Almodóvar has a reputation as one of the finest Spanish filmmakers to ever live. His latest work, Parallel Mothers, looks to keep that reputation upheld. The actual story is fairly straightforward, but it’s Almodóvar’s directorial sensibilities that give the film a weight it may not otherwise possess. Every frame is packed with such gorgeous coloring and production design that I wish I could live on one of his sets, and the performances he elicits from Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit would rival any Oscar contender in a just world. Alberto Iglesias’ score is also one of 2021’s absolute finest.