Pedro Almodovar’s latest is a film about identity, secrets, lies, buried skeletons, real and metaphorical. But what you mainly need to know is: it is wonderful and delicious and blissfully styled — Almodovar doesn’t do ‘neutrals’ or Uggs — and constantly surprising. With most films you know exactly what you’ll be getting within the first ten minutes. Oh, it’s that film. But here we’ve often no idea what direction it’s going to take and although the focus shifts it never feels fragmented. Instead, it all adds up to an immensely rich, satisfying whole.
The film stars Penelope Cruz, who is terrific, and is always terrific. She’s even been terrific in those films that haven’t been worth her time. (See: The 355.) She plays Janis, a Madrid photographer who has a fling with Arturo (Israel Elejalde), a forensic anthropologist, whose job is relevant which is why I mention it.