Volver (2006)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Volver catches director Pedro Almodovar and star Penelope Cruz at the peak of their respective powers, in service of a layered, thought-provoking film.

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Movie Info

Set in Spain, this is a generational story of three women: a good mother who is desperately in love with a man who is far from being a saint; a young mother carrying a hard life upon her shoulders; and an illegal hairdresser whose shop is the meeting point for all the neighborhood gossips.
Rating:
R (for some sexual content and language)
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$12,830,604.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Penelope Cruz
as Raimunda
Carmen Maura
as Abuela Irene
Chus Lampreave
as Tía Paula
Yohana Cobo
as Paula
Blanca Portillo
as Agustina
Pepa Aniorte
as Neighbor
Carlos Blanco
as Emilio
Neus Sanz
as Inés
Carlos Bianco
as Emilio
Leandro Rivera
as Production Assistant
Yolanda Ramos
as Televison Presenter
Isabel Díaz
as Regina
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News & Interviews for Volver

Critic Reviews for Volver

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (50)

It's up to charm to twinkle our attention away from the loose threads and daytime TV plotting.

Full Review… | July 2, 2009
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

Even if Volver sounds too high-concept for you, know that Almodóvar is smart enough not to rest on laughs alone, extending his premise to dark, though occasionally tidy psychological territory.

Full Review… | February 2, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

It's clever and entertaining. It's marvelously deft, but never daffy. It works well enough, despite feeling like the most conventional film this great, envelope-pushing Spanish director has ever made.

January 19, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Pedro Almodóvar whipstitches a movie from patches of those mother-daughter melodramas Mildred Pierce, Bellissima and Two Women and makes it seamless and original, funny as it is fierce, breathtaking as it is life-affirming.

December 28, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The Return rattles its chains for a spell, but it doesn't linger -- it quickly leaves.

Full Review… | December 22, 2006
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Volver is rich, crazy, ambitious and filled with heaven and earth in a way that no other filmmaker can touch. It is a flawed beauty, but the beauty is so much more important than the flaws.

Full Review… | December 22, 2006
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Volver

½

This film is very morbid but easily whimsical as well. Utilizing the culturally significant magic realism, the film deals with the beautiful concept of resurrection through familiar ties, but also brings up a lot of unsavory subjects. Just to name a few there's murder, incest, rape, and arson. Even though the pit of your stomach roils in waves at times, much of this feels very loving. The film is about the language of death, and how it can be translated by the living. Aiding in this interpretation is the way the dead are celebrated and remembered at their graves by their loved ones. The very beginning of the film starts in a graveyard, and throughout the film the imagery of morbidity strengthens itself by showing ghosts, white haired poltergeists, and bold colors that look an awful lot like blood. The main characters are sisters Raimunda (Cruz) and Sole (Duenas), who have different interpretations of their parent's deaths so many years ago. While one only wants to remember and sympathize with her mother, the other wants to romanticize the past rather than feel the pain she has buried for so long. The characters keep the story lively as they speak about their pasts, about how they see themselves through their descendant's eyes, and how their futures could be brightened through their own fates. Raimunda finally takes charge of her life after being smothered by the influence of her husband Paco (de la Torre) and Sole finds herself leaving her hardened shell and embracing her mother for the first time. The links between the family are interesting, but it's the twist ending that really cements this as an impressive study of life among Spanish women. Besides the mood of the film, it's really an interesting visual experience, and that lends to its rural atmosphere and ability to show the lives of women who have lost it all, but gained so much more.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

Perhaps the best film I've ever seen with a intended "feminist agenda" (whatever that is, I don't know for sure) while never didactic, three generations of ladies endeavour mightily to overcome inbred male masochism to learn to enjoy life! Really enjoyable performances and story ... and Penolope Cruz radiant with high octane jungle juice. And I become yet another fan of Almodovar.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

Its a real domestic film that hits many issues like home, family, and life. Penelope Cruz's performance was fantastic as well as Almodvar's directing. A great watch!

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

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