Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

As it is the case with most soap operas and B-rate movies, the title of this Almodovar classic is also a "direct introduction" to its story, or even a summary of the story. That is, most of the characters are actually on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Thus the film presents us an hour and half's worth of insanity that gets more and more bizarre with every moment. Carmen Maura, one of Almodovar's favorite collaborators, performs with her usual vibrant female attraction as an actress called Pepa. Pepa, dumped by her long standing boyfriend by a phone message, and unable contact him, is going mad. Above all, she is pregnant. It is ironic that so many things happen to Pepa in the span of a day, that she has to abandon her own nervous break down to take care of others'. Among these "others" are; her boyfriend's ex-wife, his son, the son's virgin fiancé and a close friend of Pepa who is hunted by the police because she had a relationship with a terrorist. As a result of coincidental events that are quite far from normal, the cast gets even more crowded. And all this happens during a single day, in Pepa's penthouse. Therefore Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, has a close structure to farces, in which characters always pop up from somewhere into the scene, creating an abiding feeling of utter absurdity. Nevertheless, the film's pacing is engagingly vivacious. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, though it still contains the flavors of the kitsch that are apparent in the previous films of the director such as Law of Desire and What Have I Done to Deserve This? is more accommodating for the average viewer. This explains why it is the first film of the director to gain an extensive popularity and appreciation internationally. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, in which Almodovar approaches the characters with infinite understanding and love, after a lot of melodramatic events, turns out to be a most tasteful feel good' film. With this comedy, the Spanish genius merges a genuine sensitivity with his unmatched black humour, blessing “high heels” female lives. Yeşim Tabak

Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar

Jose Luis Alcaine

Jose Salcedo

Lauren Films

Antonio Banderas
Carmen Maura
Fernando Guillen
Julieta Serrano
Other ManVER
Maria Barranco placeholder image
Rossy De Palma

Bernardo Bonezzi

Best Actress
Best Director Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists
Best Editing
Best Film
Best Foreign Director David di Donatello Awards
Best Foreign Language Film National Board of Review USA
Best Foreign Language Film New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Best Original Screenplay
Best Screenplay Venice
Best Supporting Actress Goya Awards
Best Young Film European Film Awards
People's Choice Award Toronto
Special Award National Society of Film Critics

9th Festival on Wheels