Pedro Almódovar’s first English-language film is a flamboyantly imaginative adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s 1930 play of the same name (a play that previously inspired Almódovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).

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Starring Tilda Swinton as the only character on screen (excluding the presence of a sad and bewildered border collie), her magnetic performance is an acute and volatile study of isolation, as we eavesdrop on her side of a phone conversation with an ex-lover.

A portrait of isolation, passion and anxiety that is visually reinforced by an exquisite use of colour and the unexpected drama of a hardware store.

This is a refined compression of Almódovar’s fixations, channelled with electric precision into a cinematic confessional that is expansively reflexive whilst also being claustrophobically emotional.

Tilda Swinton emerges as the perfect avatar for what feels like a filmmaker’s reflection on filmmaking; brittle with nervous energy and vibrantly poised at a creative precipice, teetering between rebirth and destruction.


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