Almodovar's third feature is a kitsch, colourful display and enjoyably bitchy delight that showcases his masterful direction of and adoration for his female stars; Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes and Cecilia Roth all feature. Blighted by drugs and amour fou, nightclub singer Yolanda (Cristina Sanchez Pascual) has herself committed to a charity movement. The nuns there include a writer of sensationalist pulp fiction, a drug addict and a masochist. But their private lives and perverse foibles are plunged into doubt when a new mother superior arrives to take charge. An unbridled visual delight, the paretic Dark Habits offers a powerful denigration of the Catholic Church, a recurring motif in the director's later work.
Watch twice Almodovar fans
- Dark Habits review by CK
(1) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
First let me state clearly, I love Almodovar films. I totally recommend Dark Habits (DH) to anyone interested in film directing or like me merely wanting to observe the development of creative genius. This is NOT a film I would recommend to someone who has not seen and loved Almodovar's later works. DH is certainly not another Volver or nervous breakdown.
Owning Pepi Luci, Bom (PLB) I already realised that Dark Habits would be more about a director learning his craft than a good film and so it proved. Although the humour, characterisations, direction and budget of DH is already vastly superior to that of PLB it does not possess the finesse of the later films.
DH is one of those films that improves upon better acquaintance. Although the plot resolves itself on first viewing it is far more satisfying second time around. During the first watch I found the actions of the characters too bizarre to make sense. I needed to see the film a second time in order to understand their roles in the story. I can easily imagine someone with direct experience of the Catholic faith could find far more in this film during subsequent viewings. Twice was enough for me but that must make it a good film as there are not many films I want to watch twice in quick succession.