Yes yes, there’s more to life than movies.

We’re now busy with packing and preparing to move to our new house at the end of the month, but we can still take a bit of time out to go see a film or two here and there.

Last night we dropped in at the ByTowne theatre in Downtown Ottawa to take in Volver, the latest effort from Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar.

We were,frankly, disappointed.

It’s not a bad film, but it seems incomplete. The story is ultimately about a woman who, after her death, returns to make things right with her daughters. (Well, that’s not the whole of it, but we wouldn’t want to give away too much). It tries to be about more than that – with lots of plot-threads reeling out from the two daughters and the granddaughter. But most of those threads don’t go anywhere. That’s forgivable in a film based on a memoir like Running with Scissors, but in a scripted film from an original idea, that’s just lazy.

All these threads make it feel like you’re being set up for something, but there’s never a payoff for most of them. They’re just dropped.

Almodovar’s direction is beautiful, as always, and he coaxes a great performance out of Penelope Cruz (who, IMO, gets too much credit as an actress). But the plot seems long for what it is. There’s no conflict. Everything just rolls along until the film reaches enough of a resolution that they can roll the credits.

It rates 7.8 out of 10 on IMDb. That’s very high. It deserves a 7, tops. No rush to see it on the big screen. A rental will suffice, and only if you’re an Almodovar fan.


3 responses »

  1. Lex says:

    Thanks for the review. I was planning on forking over the cash to get the full theatre experience, but I will wait 'til I can get it on rental. Now… what did you think of Running with Scissors???

  2. Lex says:

    Whoops, there it is! It just didn't show up on my preview screen.

  3. Go see Pan's Labyrinth if you want a cinema-worthy experience.

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