THE 355 – Review by T. J. Callahan

The 355 is an estrogen filled secret agent thriller the title of which refers to the code name of a female spy who fought for the Patriots during the American Revolution. The 355 stars Jessica Chastain as a rogue CIA operative who is forced to assemble a bevy of beautiful bad mama jamas to help her retrieve a top secret weapon of mass destruction that fell into enemy hands.

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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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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 AND GLORY – TIFF19 Review by Alexandra Heller Nicholas

In Pain and Glory Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas paint a portrait of a man in crisis through a shared understanding and acceptance of the volatility of human suffering, and how it can often manifest in unexpected ways. With one of the most beautiful twist reveals of any film this year, they remind us just how magical and enduring their professional relationship has been.

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