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Pedro Almodóvar's VOLVER: Biggest Oscar Snubs #4c

Penélope Cruz in Volver
Penélope Cruz in Pedro Almodóvar's Volver

Fernando Meirelles' CITY OF GOD: Biggest Oscar Snubs #4b

“A touching, beautifully plotted film, full of memorable images and jokes, it zips along without a wasted second in its 121 minutes,” wrote Philip French in The Guardian.

“Peopled with superbly drawn, attractive characters smoothly integrated into a well-turned, low-tricks plotline, Volver may rep Almodóvar's most conventional piece to date, but it is also his most reflective, a subdued, sometimes intense and often comic homecoming that celebrates the pueblo and people that shaped his imagination,” rhapsodized Jonathan Holland in Variety.

“Like most homecomings (or at least most good ones),” remarked Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times, “Pedro Almodóvar's Volver is warm, emotional and forever on the brink of tears – peppered with bouts of pique, old resentments that flare up and moments of intense and lyrical longing. But what matters most are the kisses – madcap machine-gun smacks that the characters plant on each others' cheeks as though underlining their affection in triplicate. The title means 'coming back,' and it marks a return, as the Spanish director has said, to the La Mancha of his youth, to his comedic roots, to the world of women, to mothers and to the actress Carmen Maura, one of the original 'Chicas Almodóvar' with whom he had a painful falling out 16 years ago.”

The 20 or so Academy members who selected the top five foreign-language films of 2006 (out of a pool of nine semi-finalists, among them Volver) clearly didn't feel the same way.

Now, even though Volver failed to be recognized by the US-based Academy – apart from a best actress nod for star Penélope Cruz – the family comedy-drama did go on to win five Goya Awards from the Spanish Academy, including Best Film and Best Director.

Photo: Volver (Emilio Pereda & Paola Ardizzoni / El Deseo / Sony Pictures Classics)

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