Cinema: Loving Pedro

Almodovar, the naughty boy of Spanish cinema, pays warm tribute to strong women and produces the most satisfying work of his career with All About My Mother

The word for life in Spanish ought to be Almodovar. As in Pedro, the writer-director and all-round vital force in two decades of mostly terrific movies. He loves to tell stories, whether in his 13 features or across a restaurant table.

This enchanting chatterbox, with the round face and electrified hair of a Madrid muppet, makes you believe the oldest myth of cinema: that the magic is real, that movie people in person are as delightful, as bigger-than-life, as they are on the giant screen. Thus the truest compliment to pay his movies--those tangy, nourishing stews of bent men and brave...

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