Without giving too much away about the 10 Best Pedro Almodóvar Films coming up a little later, but with no Matador (1986) and High Heels (1991) making the final 10 there is always fan favorites that won’t make the final cut in such a vast filmography of excellence. Steve Schweighofer picks two of his very best – unfortunately not quite landing in the top 10, but they were very, very close.
Laberinto de pasiones (Labyrinth of Passion) 1982
This early effort, a sort of screwball comedy, marks two milestones in Almodovar’s development – his bold experimentation with colour that became his brand and the first film that he worked with Antonio Banderas, who would become his muse for the next few films. His characters are deliberately absurd (a gay mid-eastern prince on the make, the sex-addicted woman who has a crush on him, and the gay Islamic terrorist who is hunting him down). The fascination is to see the first appearance of his emerging style in the rough; it’s like a first an encounter with unrefined sugar: full of coarse potential, brave images, and a stronger, darker taste than most comedies.
La ley del deseo (Law of Desire) 1987
Only Pedro Almodovar could have come up with this premise: A porn director (Eusebio Poncela) entices a virginal young man (Almodovar one-time muse, Antonio Banderas) for sex at the release party for his film, only to later discover his sport-like intentions have been misinterpreted as something more serious, leading to obsession and a crime of passion. The film is loaded with eccentrics such as the trans woman (played by the hetero Carmen Maura) everyone thinks is a lesbian because she hates men and a hetero character played by a trans singer/actor. Almodovar never takes the predictable route as his romp of sexual intrigue and revenge twists and turns like a rollercoaster, always surprising and always amusing, right down to the final showdown.
Stay tuned for the 10 Best Pedro Almodóvar Films as voted for by you lot…