Madres Paralelas: Venice Reviews

September 02, 2021

Madres Paralelas premiered at the 78th Venice Film Festival yesterday. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, the film stares Penélope Cruz and Aitana Sánchez-Gijónr as Janis and Ana, who coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and got pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized.

"In 'Parallel Mothers,' Almodóvar is a master storyteller who looks at single motherhood through a lens of domestic suspense. There’s no false conflict, no hyping of the action. “Parallel Mothers” recognizes that Janis and Ana are each taking on an immense burden, and as their situations unfold, the film keeps us in touch with how the passion, the anxiety, and the logistics of motherhood are all intertwined. Cruz acts this part with a mood-shifting immediacy that leaves you breathless."

- Owen Gleiberman by Variety 

"All newborns, we’re told, carry the ghosts of the past in their genes – and so it is with Almodóvar’s latest, which is knotted and subversive; an autopsy of dark Spanish history dressed up as a bright baby shower. It’s a turbulent movie. The ingredients don’t always gel. But it is so generous of spirit that it would be churlish to complain. Most directors give so little. Almodóvar, by contrast, offers an over-abundance of riches."

- Xan Brooks of The Guardian 

"Opening the main competition of the 78th Venice Film Festival on a high note, this is a ravishingly crafted work that again illustrates with ineffable beauty that no one uses the expressive power of color and design quite like Almodóvar. The same goes for music, with a Hitchcockian score by regular collaborator Alberto Iglesias that’s lush and enveloping even by the composer’s distinguished standards."

- David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter 

Madres Paralelas will be distributed in the US by Sony Pictures Classics.