Valentine’s Day Special: Men We Love – 2022 Edition

To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2022, AWFJ is posting this virtual Valentine to express our love for our male colleagues who’ve embraced the causes of gender parity and inclusively, and to honor the work they’ve done and are doing to level the playing field for women working in film.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS – Review by Martha K Baker

In film after film, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has built a reputation as a man who understands women. With Parallel Mothers, he also proves that women belong not just in the home but also in the world. He layers stories to underscore an understanding of the force that is woman.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 24, 2021: PARALLEL MOTHERS

Pedro Almodovar is no stranger to telling compelling stories about complex women, from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to All About My Mother to Volver and more. His streak continues with Parallel Mothers, an emotional drama about connection, coincidence, and the ties that bind us. Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit star as two women whose lives are irrevocably entwined after they give birth in the same hospital on the same day.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Motherhood is central to the plot but there is so much more, including suspenseful Hitchcockian overtones and a dollop of high-end soap opera. But Almodovar also tosses in a political theme this time when Peneolpe Cruz’s 40-ish professional photographer Janis is assigned to shoot a hunky forensic anthropologist. She reaches out to him to see if he can exhume the remains of some relatives who were forced to dig their own graves by fascist murderers during the Spanish Civil War. It’s a rare time that this auteur has brought politics into one of his twisty cinematic equations as the present and past collide.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS (NYFF21) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Writer-director Pedro Almodóvar spins a twisty tale of motherhood, identity, and family amid a historical reckoning. While resolving the drama between two new mothers, the film addresses the issue of persons who were disappeared during the Franco regime in Spain. Parallel Mothers makes us ponder just what motherhood and family entail.

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For Valentine’s Day 2020: Men We Love

To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020, AWFJ is posting this virtual Valentine to express our love for and to honor our male colleagues who’ve embraced the causes of gender parity and inclusively, and whose work has and is leveling the playing field for women working in film. For many of them, advocacy and activism for better representation of women on camera and behind the lens dates back to before #MeToo became an iconic hashtag and the feminist movement marched into the spotlight.

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PAIN AND GLORY – Review by Brandy McDonnell

The Spanish auteur (“Talk to Her,” “The Skin I Live In”) wisely turned to his frequent collaborator Antonio Banderas to star in his autobiographical drama. Banderas earns his best actor prize from Frances’ Cannes Film Festival – and seems to be a shoo-in for an Oscar nod – with his magnetic turn as Salvador Mallo, celebrated filmmaker plagued with a cavalcade of physical maladies.

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PAIN & GLORY – Review by Diane Carson

Multi-award winning Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has impressed audiences, myself included, since the 80s with original, creative, provocative and often humorous narratives. His art direction—often riotously colorful—infuses compositions with dynamic energy. Now, after almost forty years, Almodóvar has made his most personal and deeply moving film, Pain and Glory.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, December 19 – 23, 2016: JULIETA – by Dorothy Woodend

Pedro Almódovar’s 20th feature film Julieta is an adaptation of three Alice Munro stories. At first glance, the Spanish auteur and the Canadian writer wouldn’t appear to have anything in common. But they both share a dedication (perhaps obsession) to detailing the secret lives of women. Curiously enough, they are also united by an attraction to the more lurid, preposterous, and occasionally downright cruel twists of fate. Opening Dec. 23, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Julieta, Read on…

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