Movie Review

Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Parallel Mothers’ packs one of his hardest punches

Spain’s celebrated filmmaker and his collaborator/muse, Penélope Cruz, team up again to tackle themes of motherhood, rebirth and the Franco-era legacy

31 December 2021 - 00:00

Pedro Almodóvar came of age as an artist and a filmmaker in 1980s Spain, a country emerging from the long hangover of the Franco dictatorship’s decades-long repression and totalitarian rule. Though his films did not deal directly with Franco, they certainly reflected — in their colourful, punkish anarchic energy and celebration of sexual and expressive freedom — the mood of a country gleefully emerging from a sinisterly tragic period in its history.

After a three-decade career as the most celebrated Spanish filmmaker in history, with two Oscars and 22 feature films under his belt, Almodóvar has finally chosen to address the long and brutal shadow of the Franco era, albeit in a sideways, melodramatic, brightly coloured and distinctly Almodóvarian fashion...

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