Parallel Mothers (Spain) (20/24)

And here’s another Penélope Cruz title just in case you need more of her in your life (and you do). When Spain opted to submit The Good Boss instead of this Pedro Almodóvar thriller as its Oscar submission last year, many assumed it was out of the running. The increasingly international voting body, however, liked it enough that both Cruz and its score were nominated. Following Cruz and Milena Smit as a pair of mothers who meet as they’re about to give birth in a hospital, the film examines the different forms that motherhood can take. Taking several twists and turns before its satisfying conclusion, Parallel Mothers is an engrossing film, and Cruz’s performance is certainly Oscar-worthy. The way she swabs her mouth alone is worth a Golden Globe. 

Written by Abu Bakar

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Official Competition (Spain) (19/24)

Petite Maman (France) (21/24)