SPA 19 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

27th March, 2019 (M)
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  • Director Pedro Almodóvar
  • Cast Antonio Banderas, Carmen Maura
  • Duration 88 min
  • Rating M
  • Language Spanish with English subtitles
  • Genre Comedy, Drama


The Festival closing night will be explosive when the 2k restoration of Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 firecracker comedy lights up the screen in all its glory. One of the biggest box-office hits in Spanish history, this sexy romp about obsessive love helped launch the careers of its director and renowned Spanish stars Carmen Maura and Antonio Banderas.

Carmen Maura is exceptional as Pepa, a woman cruelly abandoned by her longtime lover Iván (Fernando Guillén), who is unaware that she is pregnant with his child. Overcome with desperation, and on the verge of suicide-by-cocktail, Pepa makes hysterical (and dangerous) attempts to track down her elusive lover. Along the way, she confronts the various women in Iván’s life, including his crazy wife, Lucía (Julieta Serrano), by whom he has fathered a now-grown-up son, Carlos (Banderas). At the same time, Pepa has to deal with a manic friend, terrified the police are looking for her because of her boyfriend’s criminal activities.

This combustive mix of eccentric characters and scenarios result in a delightful and deliriously deranged comedy that celebrates female camaraderie in all its forms.


WINNER: Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Film, Goya Awards 1989
WINNER: Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 1988
WINNER: People’s Choice Award, Toronto International Film Festival 1988
WINNER: Best Young Film, Best Actress, European Film Awards 1988
NOMINATED: Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards 1989


  • “An explosion of garish colour, wacky detail and surreal complications!” - Empire

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