Volver - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Volver Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2013
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.
½ July 23, 2013
Y quien no quiere volver?.. Como sí el volver nos asegurara la salvación.
½ July 14, 2013
The movie is an enthralling trip, through a woman's life, a sad story and a different culture.
July 9, 2013
Penelope Cruz.............Aye

Watching all of the Almodovar films this summer and Volver is one of my favorites!
July 1, 2013
Almodovar is a genius! You just have to follow the plot step by step and revelation will come. Attentive and entertaining.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2013
Diverting, involving, and inessential. 'Volver' means 'Coming back' in reference to the dead mother of two sisters who reappears in order to seek forgiveness. Almodovar never plays by the rules and Volver is no exception, delivering a pastiche of genres: a bit of mystery, a dash of pseudo-supernatural, some family drama, a sprinkling of comedy, and the most casual disposal of a dead body you're likely to find. Good performances throughout an almost all-female cast. I like Penelope Cruz more and more every time I see her, projecting an inner fire that reminds me of Sophia Loren in her heyday.
June 9, 2013
Macanuda actuacion de Penelope Cruz. Almodovar es ALMODOVAR
½ June 1, 2013
Penelope... what a gem; as is the film.
May 25, 2013
Well written and acted. It's so rare to see a script that makes room for the complicity of a woman's soul.
½ May 22, 2013
Almadovar yet again delves into childhood abuse and parental relationships, but while on par with bad Education, it pales in comparison to the magnificent All about my mother
May 20, 2013
Brilliantly acted from all the cast but exceptionally acted by Penelope Cruz, Volver is a complex, unpredictable and touching film, with the incredible anima style of Almodovar. There is so much clever inside and subtle themes in this funny, witty, charming film that qualifies as one of the best from Spain.
May 7, 2013
It is entertaining, compelling, touching and smartly-done, with several hilarious moments, a strong attention to details, visually breath-taking and brilliantly written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Volver shows Almodóvar at his best, and features flawless performances by its all-women cast, led by the wonderful Penélope Cruz, and featuring the remarkable Carmen Maura.
May 2, 2013
Thursday, September 20, 2012

(2006) Volver
(In Spanish with English subtitles)
DRAMA

Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar which consists of much of an all out female cast starring Penelope Cruz as Raimunda who along with her sister and daughter visiting her very frail aunt. And because her aunt lives by herself(at least that's what it appears to be) she is depleting in health so her daughter offers herself to move in with her to take care of her the next time they would come over. While at home Raimunda's husband gets himself unemployed, he does nothing but sit around making weird glances toward his daughter. To say anymore would obviously ruin it since as the movie progresses they're surprises and revelations that cannot be predicted, for director Aldomovar does not leave any clues nor indications. All I can say is that it's a very subtle film from Aldomovar's standards since this is few films when the men are the antgonists making their female spouses difficult and that it showcases how the women were able to overcome it. My rating was originally 70% but after listening to the 'commentary' from the extras both by the director and actress Cruz, I thought it deserves a much higher rating than that.

3 out of 4 stars
½ April 28, 2013
This movie contains quite a few surprises. It is very well written and acted with an unconventionally comedic treatment of serious family tragedy and taboo subjects which don't weigh you down. I enjoyed it because it was very different from anything I've seen before, and is not at all formulaic.
½ April 28, 2013
Great twist. Another brilliant film by Almodovar. A soap opera of the best kind; reality really can be as intresting as the mystical!
April 9, 2013
Very Happy and Surprised That I Found This On My Netflix. Queue. Great Performances and a Very Unique Take on a Unique Story.
April 6, 2013
Very touchy melodrama about women exploitation in the backdrop of a family consisting mother,daughter,granddaughter and their struggle for existence.
March 30, 2013
Thoroughly enjoyable- Penelope Cruz is wonderful & the story never less then involving. Moving, funny & gripping.
March 21, 2013
Avant-garde cinema's experimental appeal comes with an additional cultural bonus, when you watch the work of famous international directors compared to picking yet another mainstream creation.

If you missed it during the 2006-2007 Oscar buzz, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's Volver (The Return) is quite up there in that regard. It is as colorful and uplifting as it is dark and dreary, in giving us a peek at life in rural Spain.

It is a family drama that blends fantasy, suspense, spookiness, shock, and humor to tell the story of the courageous women of La Mancha, all in Mr. Almodovar's signature style of irreverence and brutal candor. With a few representative caricatures, Almodovar's handling paints the profile of an entire community, and, in doing so, lets its life style come to the fore - a quiet way of nonchalance, grit, and determination to keep going without ever wallowing in self pity. The details of their curses, gross as they may be, get brushed aside in their journey of strength and resilience.

The characters are led by Penelope Cruz's indefatigable and radiant Raimunda. The entire cast of ladies were collectively honored with the 'Best Actress' award at the 2006 Cannes film festival.

Watching the 'special features', especially the interviews with Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz, is another perk on top of the perks in the Blu-ray DVD. As with his other projects, such as his 2009's Broken Embraces (with Penelope Cruz in the lead, again), there is something extraordinarily crisp and bright about Almodovar's visuals (and you'll know why/how when you see the 'making of Volver' also on the spacial features list).

Recommended if you are in a mood to study the art form, not for casual viewing.
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