Best Pedro Almodóvar movies, ranked

A good way for newcomers to Pedro Almodóvarthe filmography of to get a quick glimpse of his unique and visionary style is to watch his short film in english The human voice with Tilda Swinton. It was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic and benefits from multiple viewings to fully appreciate the acting, writing, and directing. Almodóvar’s Spanish traits are, however, necessary to fully recognize the Oscar-winning actor’s talent. It also has a vast exhibition presented at Hollywood’s Academy Museum.

Almodóvar is also a former actor, but his work behind the camera over the years has been impactful and groundbreaking. His films are marked by melodrama, irreverent humor, bright colors, brilliant sets, quotes from popular culture and complex narratives. Desire, passion, family and identity are among his most present subjects in his films. He is known for his collaborations with Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, who both became international movie stars thanks to these many joint efforts. Almodóvar rose to prominence as a director and screenwriter during the cultural renaissance that followed the end of Franco’s Spain.

One of Spain’s most internationally acclaimed filmmakers, Almodóvar and his films have garnered global interest and developed a cult following. He has won two Oscars and in January 2017 he was named President of the Jury of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. In 2019 he was awarded the Golden Lion of Honor at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. It was recently revealed that Cate Blanchett to star in Almodóvar’s first English language feature. As we await its release amid the awards buzz that Parallel mothers attracts, let’s take a look back at Almodóvar’s best films to date, narrowed down to the top five.

Related: 5 Best Bong Joon-Ho Movies, Ranked

5 Fly (2006)


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Through Warner Bros.

After her “death”, a mother returns to her hometown in order to settle the situations that she has not been able to solve during her life. To return to is just one of many unique Cruz-Almodóvar collaborations not to be missed. “I love the fear I felt on the set of this movie, the terror of knowing the responsibility I had and how challenging it was going to be every minute of every day,” Cruz said. FilmWeb in 2006. “Pedro said he needed someone who could have a bit of those opposites in him. He chose me because he knows that I can be very strong at certain things and very vulnerable at others. He knows that I cry a lot, and that I can also be extremely strong if I need to. He knows me very well and he knew that I was going to understand all aspects of Raimunda.

Revolving around an eccentric family of women from a windswept region south of Madrid, Cruz stars as Raimunda, a working-class woman forced to go to great lengths to protect her 14-year-old daughter, Paula. To crown the family crisis, his mother Irene returns from the dead to settle the final details. To return to premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d’Or. It received critical acclaim and eventually won two awards at the festival, Best Actress and Best Screenplay for Almodóvar.

4 All About My Mother (1999)


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Via Pathe

Another Cruz-Almodóvar collaboration, all about my mother begins about a young man named Esteban who wants to be a writer – and also discovers the identity of his second mother, a trans woman carefully hidden by her mother Manuela. From there, the story has plenty of twists and turns that we shouldn’t spoil here, for those who haven’t seen this layered story on screen. It’s packed with award-winning performances, from Cecilia Roth playing Manuela, Esteban’s loving mother, to Cruz later appearing as Sister Rosa, who befriends Manuela throughout her journey as a true protagonist of the film. There’s also Antonia San Juan as a sex worker named Agrado, who enters Manuela’s life by chance. And finally, Marisa Paredes plays an iconic actress, who is adored by young Esteban and also enters Manuela’s journey by chance.

Everything will make sense in the end, that’s why all about my mother makes our top five list here. You’ll laugh, cry and cheer on the heroes on screen as the film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, faith and existentialism. The film effectively blurs the divisions between birth and adoptive parenthood, cis and transgender identity. It’s no surprise that it won the Oscar and Golden Globe that year for Best Foreign Language Film, along with many other accolades.

3 Talk to Him (2002)


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Via Warner Sogefilms

After a chance meeting in a theater, two men, Benigno and Marco, find themselves in a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. Benigno happens to be caring for another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions, past, present and future, leading them all towards an unsuspected destiny.

Talk to him was a critical and commercial success, winning the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, while Almodóvar won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It is now generally considered one of the best films of the 2000s.

“I intended not only to do something different from what I’ve done before, but also to do something different from the reality that inspired it,” Almodóvar told IndieWire when the movie comes out. “If you think about the story, it’s a story about hospitals and women in comas, a subject that can be really scary, but I wanted to deal with it in a completely different way. I wanted it to be a love story that had a completely opposite tone to the subject one would expect to be dealing with. I didn’t want to deal with pain, and I didn’t want to portray the hospital as a place where pain rules.


2 Bad Education (2004)


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Via Warner Sogefilms

Not to be confused with HBO’s 2019 hit Almodóvar’s Bad Education is an examination of the effect of Franco-era religious teaching and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends. At the beginning of the 1960s, two boys discover love, cinema and fear in a Christian school. The school priest, also director and professor of literature, witnesses their discoveries, and the three characters meet twice, at the end of the 1970s and in 1980. These meetings will change the life and death of some of them. them.

Besides metafiction, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, gender fluidity, and drug use are also important plot themes and devices. The film received an NC-17 rating in the United States for the depiction of gay sex. During this time, it received critical acclaim and was seen as a return to Almodóvar’s dark scene.

Related: Best LGBTQ+ Movies of the 2010s

1 Parallel Mothers (2021)


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Via Sony Pictures

Parallel mothers is in theaters now, this latest Almodóvar-Cruz collaboration centering on two mothers who give birth on the same day. They coincide in a hospital room, finding similarities in that they are both single and got pregnant by accident. One is middle-aged and unapologetic (played by Cruz), while the other, a teenager, is scared and traumatized (played by Milena Smit). The two women form a strong bond with each other as they both face motherhood. In its world premiere on its opening night, the the film received a nine-minute standing ovation spectators of the Venice Film Festival in the Sala Grande. Rightly so, as it is arguably Almodóvar’s finest work to date and deserves this top spot on our list.


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