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Pedro Almodóvar is a Spanish Oscar-winning director and screenwriter known for films like All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Bad Education, Volver and I'm So Excited.
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Live Flesh was released in 1998 and featured Penelope Cruz in her first film with the director, while Almodóvar's next work, All About My Mother, featured Cruz again along with actress Cecilia Roth portraying a woman who has lost her son and seeks out his father, who is a transvestite. The acclaimed, riveting work saw Almodóvar win an Academy Award for best foreign language film,
with an emotional Banderas and Cruz presenting the award to him at the live telecast.
Almodóvar received another Oscar, this time for screenwriting, with 2002's Talk to Her, which told the story of two women—a dancer and a bullfighter who both lie comatose in a hospital—and the two men who visit them. The filmmaker's next work, the noir-ish Bad Education (2004), starring Gael García Bernal and Fele Martínez, told the story of two boys who attended a Catholic boarding school together and their reunion as adults, though all isn't as it seems.
Over time, Almodóvar has developed a reputation for penning scripts that are intricate and layered in their storytelling, with the main narrative often containing a fully-rendered micro-story. Additionally, his work presents historically underrepresented orientations and identities, including female sexuality, gayness and transgenderism, in a manner that's unconventional and defiant of taboo. He's looked at power dynamics between the sexes and been critiqued for the depictions of rape in his work, yet has also been noted for having a particular sensitivity to the interior and exterior lives of women.
This sensitivity was showcased in 2006's Volver, starring Cruz as a mother who simultaneously aims to protect her daughter and deal with her past. She received her first Oscar nomination for the role, and the two worked together again in 2009's Broken Embraces.
Almodóvar reunited with Banderas in the 2011 pseudo-medical thriller with a major twist, The Skin I Live In. And in 2013 the director released I'm So Excited, a return to comedy that features a cast of characters stuck on an airplane, with hijinks ensuing.
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