Studio: Sony Pictures Classics (released Dec. 19)
Storyline: Enrique and Ignacio, students at a Catholic boarding school, fall in love but are torn apart by an abusive priest (Daniel Gimenez Cacho). Twenty years later, the three meet again when Enrique makes a film about the events.
About the script: Pic combines the pacing of noir thrillers with typical Almodovar sociosexual themes. “The script is based on a short story about 10 pages long I wrote about 30 years ago,” Almodovar says. “I wrote it as a revenge. The plot was the story of this transvestite who goes back to his school and blackmails the priest who abused him. When I reread it in the ’90s, I understood that this could be a scene of the script. So I continued writing and one by one the elements that composed the script started showing up.”
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Biggest challenge: “The most complex thing was to reunite in a logical way the three characters who first meet in school,” says Almodovar.
Breakthrough idea: “When I decided there were two brothers in the story and one of them would take on the personality of the other,” notes the helmer.
Standout scene: Young Ignacio and Enrique sneak out of the boys’ dormitory, but, in a terrifying sequence, they are discovered together in a bathroom by Father Manolo. “That scene is one of the few in the movie that corresponds with an alive memory that I have,” says Almodovar. “I always remember that the priest was some sort of vampire. I have maintained the priest with a black soutane and this feeling of predation, that the priest is a predator trying to find the kids.”
Choice lines: “A trickle of blood divided my forehead in two. I had the feeling the same thing would happen with my life. I would always be divided and I couldn’t help it.” Ignacio after fending off Father Manolo.
Writer’s bio: Almodovar has made more than a dozen films dealing with ribald and outlandish aspects of contemporary Spanish life, including “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Talk to Her,” for which he won an original screenplay Oscar.