Pedro Almodovar is one of the best directors working in Spain at the moment and with the release of his new film, the incredibly camp I’m So Excited, I thought it would be nice to pay a visit to what i think are his ten best. i know my number one will be controversial but these are the films i like in the order I like them. If you have never seen a Almodovar film before, then maybe this will help you decide what to see.
10. Live Flesh
Almodovar started life off directing farcical comedies with a very black undercurrent. He then found his heart belonged to drama, more over, melodrama. This is a perfect example as three characters lives are intertwined with devastating results. Javier Bardem plays a cop paralysed in a shooting by a man who is having an affair with his wife. Perfect Pedro stuff.
One of Almodovar’s farces as a make-up artist is called to work on a corpse, who isn’t really dead, leading to all kinds of chaos and mayhem. ET star Peter Coyote appears in this stylish, colourful comedy that crosses the line several times and if you are easily offended, it might not be your thing but it has Pedro’s trademark stamped all over it.
8. Broken Embraces
A perfect Almodovar melodrama with all the elements that he loves: obsession, death, sex, passion, wealth and a terrific central performance from his own screen muse, Penelope Cruz, as a screen siren. A love story to film making.
7. Bad Education
One of Pedro’s most powerful pieces of work, a fascinating tale of two school friends and their Catholic teacher whose paths cross over several decades, starting off in the 60s. Dealing with sexual abuse and the effects it has, it’s not an easy film to like but a film that has to be applauded.
6. Talk to Her
Almodovar is a great writer for women but here he allows the men to take centre stage in a tense drama about two men who meet and become friends after their partners are hospitalised and are in comas. Past, present and future collide in a powerhouse of a tale.
5. The Skin I Live In
Almodovar goes Hitchcockian with a tense thriller starring Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeon working on a synthetic skin that becomes more than just an obsessive piece of work. Probably his darkest film to date, it grips from the beginning and Banderas has never been better.
4. All About My Mother
Almodovar won his second Oscar (best original screenplay) for this tale of a mother who has been protecting her son from the truth about his father, who doesn’t know he exists. Flamboyant and yet still powerful, it has all the elements that Pedro loves and still manages to hold back some neat surprises.
3. Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
The film that really put Almodovar on the map, a madcap, farcical comedy with a plot so complicated, it could take forever to explain. Just one of those films you need to see. A kaleidoscope of colour both visually and in the characters. A joy.
Penelope Cruz is outstanding as a woman desperate to cover up a murder while at the same time making a new start in her life. This is a very funny, sometimes shocking always entertaining film that I can watch again and again, still surprising every time. Oh and there’s a ghost thrown in for good measure. Very theatrical but great fun.
1. High Heels
I told you it would be controversial. One of Almodovar’s lesser known film is a complex blast as a mother returns to find her daughter is married to one of her ex lovers. Then murder comes into play that could bring them closer or split them apart. A delicious mix of bitchy comments and sharp witty dialogue, it’s my personal favourite.