Sunday, January 14, 2007

Volver (2006)

You know what? I've seen four Almodóvar films now, and I don't think my sensibilities are simpatico with his. When he tries for camp, it strikes me as too studied and self-conciously "outrageous" (compare the flopsweat perversity of What Have I Done to Deserve This? with any random film from the transgressive period of John Waters, for whom camp seems to exude constantly, and tell me which works better); paradoxically, though, that sense of flamboyance delivers a gummy flatness to his late-career attempts at working sincere. So it goes with Volver, an airy trifle that knows the words to the neo-noir trappings it affects like window dressing but not the music. There's no weight to anything here -- it's all just incidence without emotion, and I get the feeling that, were it not for Penélope Cruz's ferocious commitment in the lead, the whole enterprise would float away without making any impression. Is there something here I'm missing? Is there really more to this than trite "love yo' mama" sentiment, something that might transform this cotton-candy cinematic object into the beguiling bit of lovely that critical opinion would have it be? Is there anything -- anything at all -- within Volver that I can't get from watching a random hour of the Lifetime Network? Please, help me out. I'm all ears.

Grade: C


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home