Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers” is Another Stunner with Perfect Penélope Cruz

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Primary colors, twisty storylines and strong female characters abound in the directorial DNA as two moms embark on two very different and connected experiences against a searing political backdrop. The love child of a telenovela type story and Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar’s distinct sensibilities at the helm of Parallel Mothers (B+) makes for an engrossing and complex tale about exhuming the past, living in the moment and facing the future. Penélope Cruz is resplendent as the complicated protagonist, with a strong supporting turn by Milena Smit. Exquisite production design, a melodramatic score and a meditative framing device make this one of the director’s most accessible films, some parts sensational and others solemn. His themes about the trauma women carry across generations is prescient, but the puzzle of relationships along the way make it an engrossing journey. 

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