Pedro Almodóvar has dropped the first official trailer for “Madres paralelas,” which is set to open this year’s Venice Film Festival.
“Madres paralelas” is led by long-time Almodóvar favorite Penélope Cruz who is joined by key cast members Aitana Sánchez-Gijón (“Boca a Boca”) and Milena Smit (“Cross the Line”), “Veneno” duo Israel Elejalde and Daniela Santiago, and two more Almodóvar regulars in Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma, co-stars of the Oscar-nominated “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
“Madres paralelas” — “Parallel Mothers” in English — turns on a trio of mothers, played by Cruz, Gijón and Smit, and expands Almodóvar’s previous depictions of womanhood by turning the film’s focus on imperfect mothers.
In the dialogue-free trailer, we’re treated to a palette that marks the film as an Almodóvar with almost no other details needed. The film’s trio of mothers are seen in varying stages of pregnancy and eventually holding their newborn children, giving an idea of the film’s scale of time.
Almodóvar began developing “Parallel Mothers” years ago, but as Spanish lockdowns lingered, the filmmaker used his free time to finish the screenplay and begin pre-production. Shooting kicked off in late March in and around Madrid, vibrantly on display in the brief trailer.
“With ‘Madres paralelas’ I return to the female universe, to motherhood, to the family,” Almodóvar said in a casting announcement for the film in February. “I speak of the importance of ancestors and descendants. The inevitable presence of memory. There are many mothers in my filmography, the ones that are part of this story are very different.
“As a storyteller, imperfect mothers inspire me most at this time. Penélope Cruz, Aitana Sánchez Gijón and the young Milena Smit will play the three mothers in the film, accompanied by Israel Elejalde as the main male character. It is also a collaboration with my beloved Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma. ‘Parallel Mothers’ will be an intense drama. Or so I hope,” he added.
“Madres paralelas” is produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García at El Deseo, with Spanish broadcaster RTVE and Netflix both contributing. A theatrical release is planned for Spain by Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia, while North American, Australian and New Zealand rights were picked up in August by Sony Pictures Classics in a continuation of a longtime relationship which has seen the company collaborate on 12 previous El Deseo productions.