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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Penélope Cruz to be one of Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers

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- The filmmaker's new movie will star the Madrilenian actress, a familiar face in his features, alongside Aitana Sánchez Gijón, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma

Penélope Cruz to be one of Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers
Director Pedro Almodóvar and actress Penélope Cruz

UPDATE (4 February 2021): Pedro Almodóvar has announced the full cast of Parallel Mothers [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
. Penélope Cruz will be joined by seasoned thesp Aitana Sánchez Gijón and the young Milena Smit, who make up the titular trio of mothers. They will be flanked by Israel Elejalde in addition to Almodóvar regulars Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma.
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Pedro Almodóvar has emerged from the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus pandemic clutching a brand-new project. Although the health crisis forced him to postpone the shoot for the short that was due to star Tilda Swinton (see the news), which will now be filmed in July, the two-time Oscar-winning Spanish director has managed to finish writing the screenplay for Parallel Mothers (lit. “Parallel Mothers”), a drama about two women who give birth on the same day and in the same hospital – and Penélope Cruz will play one of said mothers. The Madrilenian actress is working with the Manchegan helmer once again, after having done so in Live Flesh, All About My Mother, Volver [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agustín Almodóvar
interview: Carmen Maura
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
interview: Pénélope Cruz
film profile
]
, Broken Embraces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
, I’m So Excited [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the short film The Cannibalistic Councillor and Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
(which went home with six Platino Awards for Ibero-American cinema last Monday and has raked in more than $35 million worldwide).

Parallel Mothers is not one of Pedro Almodóvar’s newest ideas, because in his 2009 film Broken Embraces, which was bristling with references to himself and contained quite a few biographical elements, we were able to glimpse a poster for a fictitious movie bearing that same title, in the study belonging to the character of film director Mateo Blanco, played by Lluís Homar.

According to Almodóvar, he fell victim to COVID-19 – although thankfully only with mild symptoms – which plunged him into a state of heightened sensitivity and loneliness. This not only prompted him to write the screenplay for Parallel Mothers, but it also led him to publish various articles in the press, in which, among other anecdotes, he recalled Madonna’s visit to Spain in 1990.

As for the other project announced by Almodóvar, the adaptation of the Lucia Berlin book A Manual for Cleaning Women, which was due to be shot this year in the USA, in English, it has been postponed to an as-yet unconfirmed date.

Parallel Mothers, which will be filmed in Madrid in early 2021, will, much like the majority of Almodóvar’s filmography, be a production entrusted to his own company, El Deseo. It will be released at the end of next year.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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