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Parallel Mothers - What We Know So Far

Although Pedro Almodóvar is a prolific Spanish film director with a plethora of impressive work under his belt, 2019 might have been his banner year. Almodóvar's drama "Pain And Glory," which he wrote and directed, was warmly received by many critics. The film, which starred frequent collaborators Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz in a nonlinear drama about a director's declining creative output and the various people in his life, wound up as Time Magazine's best movie of the year. The celebrated director also received an honorary Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival that same year for his life's work (Via Deadline).

The pandemic could have slowed Almodóvar much as it did for most of Hollywood production, and no one would have blamed him, as El Pais reported that the director fell ill last year with the coronavirus. However, after recovering and being stuck in confinement, he focused his efforts on writing and completed the script for his next upcoming project, "Parallel Mothers." The movie, which will once again reunite him with Cruz, is slated to premiere later this year.

Here's everything that we know so far.

When is the release date for Parallel Mothers?

While "Parallel Mothers" will get the chance to debut this year, it's been a project that Pedro Almodóvar has kept in the bag for a while, at least in written form. According to Variety, the director began work on "Parallel Mothers" several years ago before finally using 2020 as the time to complete the script and start filming. Pre-production started in the fall of last year, and shooting didn't begin until March of this year when they shot it in Madrid. That's an impressive time span, given how the pandemic is still disrupting a lot of film production.

We won't have to wait much longer for its debut. With the release of the first official trailer for the movie, we do have a pair of premiere dates. Per Collider, the movie will open this year's Venice International Film Festival on September 1. Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the film for U.S. audiences, and it will make its official premiere stateside later this year on December 24.

Who is the cast of Parallel Mothers?

"Parallel Mothers" looks like an opportunity for a reunion of sorts, as Almodóvar will once again be working with some frequent collaborators. The movie features Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Israel Elejalde, but included in the cast for "Parallel Mothers" are Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma, who worked with the director in past films like "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." Penélope Cruz, another of the director's frequent collaborators, stars as one of the film's leads, opposite Milena Smit (via Collider).

Per The Film Stage, it makes sense that Cruz is once again teaming up with Almodóvar. The director is said to have written the movie with Cruz specifically in mind. The two have produced some fantastic work — in 2016, Cruz starred in the director's film "Volver," and her performance in that project earned her an Oscar nomination (via Entertainment Weekly). It's clear that based on their collective work together, the two can bring out the best in each other, and we could see that again with "Parallel Mothers."

What is the plot of Parallel Mothers?

While the official teaser trailer raises more questions than answers about the plot of "Parallel Mothers," we do at least know the official synopsis and some of the central themes the film will aim to explore. According to the synopsis from Sony Pictures, the movie focuses on two women named Janis (Penélope Cruz) and Ana (Milena Smit), who are both single but become pregnant by accident. Janis, who is middle-aged, is excited by her pregnancy while Ana, described as an adolescent, is traumatized by hers. After the two meet in a hospital, they form a close but unique link that will develop and change their lives.

As per Variety, Pedro Almodóvar has said that the movie is an "intense drama" that puts the spotlight on imperfect new mothers and descendants.

"With 'Madres Paralelas' I return to the female universe, to motherhood, to the family," Almodóvar said. "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."