saw pedro almodóvar’s “volver”, a story about mothers, daughters and the indomitable female spirit. the film is beautifully shot and a perfect vehicle for penelope cruz’s talents. having worked with almodóvar before, the actress and director seem to have a unique bond. there is a level of trust and affection which makes it possible for cruz to blossom in front of our eyes into something strong and luminous. her charisma is greatly diminished by formula-driven, coldly procedural anglo-saxon films. here we see her as never before. she is in her element. the film is a mix of magic and realism, a supersaturated dreamscape. the colors are warm and vivid, the camerawork meticulous and obsessively focused on cruz. her performance is brought into relief by her beauty and fearlessness. with this film, almodóvar has perfected his craft and given us a visually luscious chef d’oeuvre that celebrates his love for women characters in all their splendor and complexity.