Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Mujeres Al Borde De Un Ataque De Nervios
Spain, 1988. Laurenfilm, El Deseo. Story and Screenplay by Pedro Almodovar. Cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine. Produced by Pedro Almodovar. Music by Bernardo Bonezzi. Production Design by Emilio Canuelo, Felix Murcia. Costume Design by Jose Maria de Cossio. Film Editing by José Salcedo.
Pedro Almodovar’s reputation as filmmaker became an art-household name when this delightful comedy was released to great acclaim. It stars the fabulous Carmen Maura as an actress whose life falls completely apart in one day: her lover is leaving her, her friend comes over to hide from the police and the man she is about to sublet her apartment to (Antonio Banderas) is her married lover’s son. While waiting for her man to call, Maura sets fire to her bed, rips out her phone, has it repaired, rips it out again and makes a wickedly dangerous gazpacho, all the while the jilted wife of the philanderer (Julieta Serrano) is waiting to make her psychotically-influenced move. Bubbly and outrageous, this film features colourful cinematography and deliciously quirky characters, though they’re not as heartfelt as they would be in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
The Criterion Collection: #855
Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Awards: Best European Actress (Carmen Maura); Best Young Film
Nomination: Special Aspect
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Venice Film Festival Award: Best Screenplay