Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers is seemingly about a jaw-dropping, life-changing mishap between two pregnant single strangers, Janis (Penélope Cruz) and Ana (Milena Smit), who give birth on the same day.  The new mothers exchange information and part ways, only to be reunited months later after Janis uncovers the secret.  Ana, feeling confident and independent yet abandoned, is offered hospitality by Janis, who is struggling to break the news to Ana and also dealing with her own strife with her baby’s father Arturo (Israel Elejalde).

With movie goers being given moments to gasp at new developments in the story, Pedro Almodóvar (I’m So Excited) has certainly made a film that can be perceived as a scandalous drama;  though the top-notch performances and Almodóvar’s well written screenplay stop the drama from being soapy.  The bait-and-switch of Parallel Mothers, however, is Almodóvar’s message about the importance of correcting and preserving family history.  If we can fix an issue in the moment, we can prevent future mistrust.  While the theme doesn’t quite resonate until the end of the movie, viewers can later reflect on the film and notice how this lovely message has been present and carefully, and subtly, woven throughout the movie.

Parallel Mothers is a fantastic movie with versatile strengths that’s only further proven by its two Oscar nominations for Alberto Igesias’ effective score and Cruz’s tortured performance.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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