Volver. 2006. Spain. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar. With Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lampreave. 35mm. . In Spanish; English subtitles. 121 min.
When Sisters Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and Sole (Lola Dueñas) return to their small La Mancha hometown to visit their failing Aunt Paula (Chus Lampreave), their dead mother (Carmen Maura) appears to them as a spirit. Volver (literally “to return”), one of Almodovar’s most tender films, features many such revisitations: to home, to cycles of sexual abuse, to the earthly plane. The filmmaker’s perennial fixation on motherhood reaches its fullest expression here, as he gathers some of his most beloved muses, cast as mothers and daughters or both, and they work through their collective traumas. The six central women collectively won the Best Actress award at Cannes, and Cruz received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance.