In what may be Almodóvar's most personal film, the world-renowned director gives us a story of assumed identities, terrible secrets, and deadly revenge. Though it isn't too far removed from his other films narratively speaking, this one feels sadder, darker. Gael García Bernal, brandishing a surprisingly convincing Spanish accent, plays the central figure, essentially a triple role as a young actor who is not what he appears to be. Fele Martínez is equally impressive as the young filmmaker who can sense that Bernal is hiding something, but casts him in the lead role in a film about their shared past. Catholic sex abuse, drug addiction, blackmail, and malignant passion characterize the 'real' drama surrounding the 'fictional' drama, but beneath the narrative acrobatics lies a sense of despair unusual for Almodóvar. This is one of his most accomplished films from a technical standpoint, featuring some drop-dead beautiful imagery that enhances the story while also tastefully drawing attention to itself (like many of Almodóvar's films, this one functions partly as a celebration of the power of cinema). I don't want to reveal too much about the plot, since the element of surprise is especially crucial here, but I will say that in my opinion this is the best film Almodóvar has ever made.