Among his many portraits of women, Pedro Almodovar addressed mother-child relationships in Julieta (2016) and All about my mother (1999). He questions in Madres Paralelas, in theaters Wednesday December 1, maternal love and doubt about the identity of the child. Penélope Cruz received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2021 Venice Film Festival for her role, and a promising young actress, Milena Smit, gives her the answer.
Janis and Ana meet in the hospital before giving birth, both single and accidentally pregnant. Mature Janis (Penélope Cruz) has no regrets and is overjoyed, while Ana (Milena Smit) is a teenage girl scared of becoming a mother. Janis tries to cheer him up and a close bond is formed, but the fate will change their relationship and their lives.
By basing his screenplay on the confusion of attribution of two children at birth, Pedro Almodovar is situated in a certain romantic tradition (Life is a long quiet river). It is not despoiling to reveal it, its subject being to deal with the consequences of this error in the friendship which binds two women of two generations. A story of women, a major theme of Almodovar.
It is in the staging that the tone changes. For this intimate drama, Almodovar abandons its solar, graphic and contrasting sets for a realistic setting in the darker light. Now is not the time for vitality, while birth is at the source of the subject, but for the turnaround that Janis will experience in Ana. The radiance of the first will darken and vice versa for Ana: at the end of the day, the pupil will become the teacher. It is this process at work that makes the film.
The choice of Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit is the film’s trump card, where Almodovar plays the muse of his cinema against a newcomer in his universe. The fictional encounter intersects with the one at the center of the film. These “Parallel Mothers” occupy the filmmaker’s full attention, which is why he is rather an observer in his choice of direction. The emotion is no less present thanks to its actresses. But we have known Almodovar more assertive in his realization.
Kind : Drama
Director : Pedro Almodovar
Actors : Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Rossy de Palma
Duration : 2h00
Exit : December 1, 2021
Distributer : Pathé
Synopsis : Two women, Janis and Ana, meet in a hospital room about to give birth. They are both single and got pregnant by accident. Mature Janis has no regrets and during the hours leading up to childbirth she is ecstatic. Ana, on the other hand, is a scared, remorseful and traumatized teenager. Janis tries to cheer her up as they walk like sleepwalkers down the hospital hallway. The few words they exchange during these hours will create a very close bond between them, which chance will take care of complicating in a way that will change their lives both.