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The Human Voice in Pedro Almodóvar's One-Woman Act

This is one piece in a collection of 10 film reviews submitted by this year’s New Wave Jury members at Cornwall Film Festival 2021. The collection tackles recent films that stood out as radical works of filmmaking. You can read the other reviews here.

The Human Voice (2020), Pedro Almodóvar's first film in English, is a short melodrama loosely adapted from Jean Cocteau’s 1930s play of the same name, starring Tilda Swinton as the leading lady in this enigmatic one-woman act. Typical of Almodóvar, The Human Voice is yet another cautionary tale centred on the complexities of a young woman’s unstable, melancholic mind as she manoeuvres through the pain and despair of a deceitful love interest, reminiscent of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988).