3.0, Latin America/Spain


2006 / Pedro Almodovar > The worst thing about Almodovar most people can say is that he’s got his own unique style—so unique that once you’ve seen a decent amount of his films, you start taking him for granted. With Volver, for once, I’m not taking him for granted, but unfortunately, I’m also not letting him slip by so easily either. The film may be my least favorite in his oeuvre, and although it’s better than the barrage of films the industry puts out, it strains the soul in getting started and then challenges the mind in its plotting audacity.

Talk to Her, my favorite by the director, is gracious in its unfolding of events while Volver continuously hints before spilling the beans with simple dialogue. The twists are nearly predictable and fairly lazy—not what I expect from a masterful storyteller. Thankfully, he’s skilled enough to not make them the cornerstone of the film, but that doesn’t keep Volver’s center of gravity from shifting away ever so slightly so that the characters’ plights suddenly have less meaning, and we lose sight of some of the original dilemmas presented.