I have seen a lot of good movies already in 2007 and Volver, directed by Pedro Almodovar, is one of the best. According to my handy on-line Spanish dictionary, "volver" means to return and this is one movie I would like to volver to see again and again.
The movie is set in Madrid and in the windswept countryside in LaMancha. It has some unexpected (at least to me) plot twists, so it is difficult to say too much about it without spoiling it. It involves murder, visitation by a practical-minded ghost, estrangement and reconciliation, but, best of all, lots and lots of Penelope Cruz. Forget that she is a Scientologist; that she has made a fool of herself with Tom Cruise or that she has gorgeous breasts (impossible to forget that,) the woman is a great actress. She is one of the nominees this year for Best Actress for her role in Volver, and had I not just seen Judi Dench's performance in Notes On A Scandal, (I'll do a report on that movie soon,) I would be ready to hand her the award.
There is no nudity in the film; the R rating comes from the language but Cruz's cleavage plays a prominent role. According to a review by Jonathan Richards on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert reported that when Almodovar was asked at Cannes about his enthusiatic display of Cruz's breasts, he said, "I'm a gay man, but I love breasts." There is a line in the movie when Cruz's friend, who is bartending at her restaurant says, "With your your cleavage and my mojitos, we'll make a fortune." Almodovar should make a fortune on this film, which has much more main stream appeal than previous efforts like Talk to Her. Lest I be accused of liking the movie only because I am a leering old man, let me repeat, there is no nudity, not even in a love-making scene. Rather Cruz's breasts are treated as one of the architectural wonders of the world, which they are.
The wind is prominent in the movie; there are modern windmills, and it is constantly blowing; hard. The wind must have some symbolic importance, but I couldn't figure out what it is. Maybe when I volver to the movie, it will become apparent.
I gave the movie five out of five stars.