Dir: Pedro Almodóvar, 2006, Spain (121 mins)
Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas
When their aunt passes away, two sisters find themselves in a fix. Raimunda (Cruz) has a no-good-husband and Sole (Dueñas) suffers the ghost stories of a town where the eastern wind sends everyone crazy. Murder and resurrection ensue as family secrets spill out, forcing the women to face adversity using all the sass and deceit at their disposal.
Cruz is luminous in an astounding performance as a woman with a well-honed survival instinct. And she certainly knows how to work it, with the film’s production design having plenty of fun with Cruz’s wardrobe, legs and cleavage. Meanwhile Dueñas measures her comic timing to perfection and Almodóvar’s ability to conjure something cheeky and insightful remains unrivalled. A paean to loyalty and the female spirit, Volver is glorious cinema and the most uplifting film you’re likely to see this year. Kate Taylor