Salvador Mallo, a filmmaker in the twilight of his career, remembers his life: his mother, his lovers, the actors he worked with. The sixties in a small village in Valencia, the eighties in Madrid, the present, when he feels an immeasurable emptiness, facing his mortality, the incapability of continuing filming, the impossibility of separating creation from his own life. The need of narrating his past can be his salvation.
Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) works and lives Madrid with her husband Paco and daughter Paula. Her sister Sole (Lola Dueñas) lives nearby and they both miss their mother Irene (Carmen Maura), who died several years ago in a house fire along with their father. A former neighbor from their hometown reports that she has seen the ghost of Irene and both daughters do not believe her. After a murder and a family tragedy, Irene’s spirit materializes around her daughters to help comfort them.
A single mother in Madrid sees her only son die on his birthday as he runs to seek an actress’ autograph. Beside herself with grief, she returns to Barcelona to tell the boy’s father about the death of the son he never knew he had.
The film is an ensemble comedy written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew, and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish of the moment and face the greatest danger, which we carry within ourselves.
Marisa Paredes is Leocadia (“Leo”) Macias, a woman writing “pink” romance novels under the alias of Amanda Gris that are very popular all across Spain. Unlike her romantic novels, her own love life is troubled. Leo has a less than happy relationship with her husband Paco, a military officer stationed in Brussels then later in Bosnia, who is distant both physically and emotionally.
Kika, a young cosmetologist, is called to the mansion of Nicolas, an American writer to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramon. Ramon, who is not dead, is revived by Kika’s attentions and she then moves in with him. They might live happily ever after but first they have to cope with Kika’s affair with Nicolas, the suspicious death of Ramon’s mother and the intrusive gaze of tabloid-TV star and Ramon’s ex-psychologist Andrea Scarface.