The 78th Venice Film Festival has its opening film – Pedro Almodovar’s Madres Paralelas, starring Penelope Cruz.
Film will play in Competition and will open the fest on September 1. It also stars Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Julieta Serrano and Rossy De Palma. The story follows two women, Janis and Ana, who coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and got pregnant by accident.
Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which chance will undertake to develop and complicate in such a decisive way that it will change the lives of both.
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Pic is produced by El Deseo and will be distributed in Italy by Warner Bros. Pictures. Almodóvar received Venice’s 2019 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
“I was born as a film director in 1983 in Venice,” commented Pedro Almodóvar, “In the Mezzogiorno Mezzanotte section. Thirty-eight years later I am called to open the festival. I cannot explain the joy and the honor, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency. I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it”.
Venice director Alberto Barbera added: “I am grateful to Pedro Almodóvar for having given us the privilege of opening the film festival with his new movie, an intense and sensitive portrait of two women as they contend with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, women’s solidarity, and sexuality that is experienced in full freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the backdrop of a reflection on the ineluctable need for truth that is to be unwaveringly pursued. This is a very welcome return to Venice in Competition for the recipient of our 2019 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, many years after the success of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown the movie that marked his definitive triumph on the international scene”.
Other pics confirmed to have their premiere on the Lido this year include Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills. The latter’s star Jamie Lee Curtis will be at Venice to receive an honorary Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
This year’s festival runs September 1-11.