Almodóvar won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for this 2002 film, a detour for the director in its focus on masculine bonding, conspicuously in the presence of women silenced by circumstance. Male nurse Benigno and journalist Marco are brought together under bizarre but curiously similar circumstances via their shared devotions to two separate women, both comatose. Lines are continually blurred between reality and fantasy, benign intentions and bad actions, the masculine and feminine, as Almodóvar conveys that one-directional communication defiles the very concept of healthy intimacy.
“Almodóvar treads a very delicate path…At the end, we are undeniably touched. No director since Fassbinder has been able to evoke such complex emotions with such problematic material.” —Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com “Flips the script and demands not just sympathy but empathy for someone who you wouldn't think deserved it. It's a movie about being trapped in various kinds of prisons, spiritual, physical and finally literal.” —Elivs Mitchell, New York Times “Almodóvar’s greatest natural talent may be his ability to master a dizzying variety of tones within a single film,...pull out all the emotional stops, and yet make fun of this very surfeit of melodrama at the same time.” —Peter Brunette, IndieWire
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