Pedro Almodóvar's comedy drama stars Penélope Cruz (pictured) as Raimunda, a single parent looking after her daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo), whose life is turned upside down by a murder. Although Raimunda manages to dispose of the body, further complications arise when her mother Irene (Carmen Maura), presumed dead, suddenly reappears. But when circumstances dictate that Raimunda has to re-open a disused restaurant to cover up the murder, she finds that it becomes unexpectedly, and riotously, successful.
Almodóvar's film is set in a small Spanish town and opens as the townswomen are engaged in the weekly ritual of cleaning the white marble graves in the graveyard; a motif that sets the tone of the film. Men only have small part to play in the plot, are all deemed feckless and soon disappear from sight.
Instead, Raimunda, played to the dramatic hilt by Oscar and BAFTA-nominated Cruz, is the film's protagonist, surrounded by equally feisty women including her sister Sole (Lola Dueñas) and the ailing Agustina (Blanca Portillo) who between them manage very well without men.
Almodóvar uses a recurrent motif of red throughout the film to signify the blood that has been spilt and the consequences and in doing so, the film is a delightful affirmation of the ingenuity and strength of women.