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Volver [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
Meaning 'The Return' Volver begins in the village of Alcanfor de las Infantas; a superstitious place, where it is said that the East Wind drives many inhabitants insane. Raimunda (Cruz), her daughter and her sister Soledad have come to visit the grave of their mother who was killed in a fire with her husband. Whilst there they visit their aunt Paula who, a little senile and through milk-bottle glasses, tells them that their mother is alive and living with her. Back home in Madrid, Raimunda comes home from work one day to find her daughter looking disturbed. She has stabbed the man she thought to be her father after he drunkenly tried to rape her. Whilst she deals with this Raimunda is called by her sister to be told their aunt has died. It is when returning from the funeral on her own that Soledad hears the voice of her mother calling her from the boot of the car.
The performances are all exceptional (the six actresses shared the Best Actress award at Cannes in 2006) but Cruz really shines in her role. When her drunken husband masturbates beside her in bed, after she has shrugged off his advances, we see her look of surprise, disgust and sadness as a tear wells in her eye. Later in the film she sings the song Volver to a restaurant filled by a film crew wrap party and whilst she may only be lip syncing her performance had me doubting.
Almodovar has said that the film 'is precisely about death...Read more ›
An everlasting wind soughs around a small village in La Mancha and the cemetery, where women are cleaning the graves of their dear ones, fighting the winds destruction of their work. This opening scene already sets the tone of the rest of the movie. There are few scenes with men present, the most prominent dies within the first half hour of the movie. In Almodovars universe the women take care of everything, they are hardworking, caring, difficult and solidarity, sharing their intimate moments with each other.
As usual there are plenty of weird, funny and tragic moments in this story (which makes it almost impossible to give a summary of the incidents). The Return from the title is true in many respects, like in all his movies it has multiple meanings. But unlike his early efforts the story here is less over the top, rings truer and is leaving a big emotional impact on you. It's impossible not to be touched by this film.
Much of the films worldwide box office success (estimated to be over $80,000,000) has been attributed to the career-defining role of Penélope Cruz, receiving Best Actress nominations at the Oscars, Academy Awards and the Golden Globes amongst others. Cruz credits Almodóvar's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" as the reason she started acting, and the two have worked together twice before - most notably in her solid portrayal of an AIDS-ridden, pregnant nun in "All About My Mother" - and as such it seems their respectful relationship has brought out the very best in her; under his direction she gives herself to the role completely, happy to appear unflatteringly aged and to wear a prosthetic butt throughout shooting (somewhat amusingly). Carmen Maura and Lola Dueňas - who together with Cruz share the Cannes Best Actress award - are equally fantastic as the lead's sister and mother, filling the film with an understated, poignant glow.
This is a subtle triumph that carefully traverses the barrier between tragedy and comedy, and manages to be inspiringly heartwarming without a hint of cheese: beautifully written, carefully put together and faultlessly performed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
POSSIBLE SPOILERS - only read if you have seen the film!
There is a moment in Volver where a character starts digging the earth with a pickaxe, and you see it up close:... Read more
You've seen one - you've seen them all - but you MUST see them all!Published 9 months ago by Hackney Girl
Happy story, some mystery, some romance and some insight into another way of getting on with everyday tasks.Published 10 months ago by Frances Radford
Great help for my daughter's A level Spanish . watched it over and over.Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth A