• Academy Awards®

    Best Actress, Best Music Nominee
  • Goya Awards®

    Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Nominee
  • Golden Globes®

    Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Score Nominee
  • Venice Film Festival

    Volpi Cup - Best Actress
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

    Best Actress, Best Music
  • Independent Spirit Award®

    Best International Film
Spanish Film Club
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Spanish with English subtitles

With Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Rossy de Palma, Julieta Serrano

Starring Penélope Cruz in what could be the best performance of her career, Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers is an unabashed story of cascading twists and turns, thickening complications, and high family drama.

The film follows two mothers who meet at the hospital ward during their pregnancy, and whose lives become intertwined from then on. Janis (Penélope Cruz), middle-aged, doesn’t regret her accidental pregnancy and she is exultant. The other, Ana (Milena Smit), 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 those hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and becomes complicated, changing their lives in a decisive way.

In one of his best films to date, Almodóvar revisits the legacy of his country’s political violence during the Spanish Civil War to provide a broader and richer perspective on the exploration of one’s ancestry.


“It’s a testament to the consummate gifts of one of the world’s most treasured filmmakers—now entering the fifth decade of a career still going strong—that he can constantly delight your eye with no risk of losing your involvement in the emotional lives of characters he so clearly adores.” – David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Penélope Cruz is astonishing, in what may be the best performance of her career so far.” – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME

“Pedro Almodovar’s best since All About My Mother. The picture draws you in and holds you. It’s Almodovar’s disarmingly moving tribute to the shifting, ever-bending bonds of motherhood. Penélope Cruz acts this part with a mood-shifting immediacy that leaves you breathless.” – Owen Gleiberman, VARIETY

“With his characteristic attention to tone, detail, visual design and thematic depth, Almodóvar executes a cinematic hat trick, combining cinematic artistry, extravagant entertainment and emotional seriousness with finesse and seriousness of purpose.” – Anna Hornaday, THE WASHINGTON POST

“Almodóvar has assembled one of his most aesthetically rich outings in his repertoire. His ace in the hole is composer Alberto Iglesias, who orchestrates a tension-filled yet intoxicating score that the Academy’s music branch would be criminal to ignore.” – Clayton Davis, VARIETY

About the Director
Pedro Almodóvar made his exuberant entry onto the film scene in 1980, riding a post-Franco countercultural wave in Spain and establishing himself as one of the most distinctive voices in cinema. Almodóvar’s work contributed to the creation of a new Spanish cultural and social order, and through his production company, El Deseo (founded in 1986 with his brother, Agustín), he has made some of the most globally influential films of the past three decades.

Almodóvar’s genre-defying work mixes camp, melodrama, and humor to explore themes of transgression, desire, and identity. He has constructed a colorful universe inhabited by offbeat characters, fluid sexual and gender identities, and complex and singular women. His all-inclusive, anything-goes spirit, which celebrates all beings, emotions, and reasons, appeals to a worldwide audience, allowing him to be at once a countercultural provocateur and an Academy Award® winning writer/director.

Notes on Film

Parallel Mothers talks about ancestors and descendants; the truth of the historical past and the most intimate truth of the characters. It talks about identity and maternal passion through three very different mothers: Janis, Ana, and Ana’s mother, a selfish mother, without any maternal instinct, as she herself confesses.

It’s the imperfections of those mothers that attract me most as a narrator. They are very different mothers from those who have appeared in my filmography to date.

Even though all its elements belong to the melodrama genre, I decided from the script and in the mise-en-scène that Parallel Mothers would be a tense, contained drama, hard to play and with a protagonist who perhaps is not a role model but who attracted me precisely for that. She is the most difficult character that Penélope Cruz has played to date, with me and without me. And probably the most painful. The result is splendid, as always Penélope has given everything to it. At her side, the young Milena Smit becomes the great revelation of the film. The purity and innocence of her Ana accentuate the darker parts of Janis. Both are very well accompanied by Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Israel Elejalde. In the end, they will all form part of a diverse and unexpected family, that is also real and authentic.”

– Pedro Almodóvar, Director