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3,623 Ratings

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Spain, 1988


Dumped by her lover Iván, soap actress Pepa needs to track him down to deliver an important message. But her life is soon invaded by a series of distractions: Pepa’s friend Candela might have got involved in a terrorist plot, while Iván’s son, who is flat-hunting, ends up visiting Pepa’s apartment.

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Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1988 | 2 wins including: Best Actress

Academy Awards

1989 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto International Film Festival

1988 | Winner: People's Choice Award

A love letter to cinema and post-Franco Spain, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is an ebullient comedy propelled at a manic clip, drenched in colors so rich they seem edible. That so many of story’s antics are mordant in nature is a testament to writer-director Pedro Almodóvar’s skewed sensibilities, which posit that the aesthetically trashy and morally suspect are as endemic to the pleasures of life as the elegant and ethical.
March 02, 2017
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Although I once heard Almodóvar say that his script for Women on the Verge was inspired by Jean Cocteau’s monologue play The Human Voice, humor clearly won out over tragedy when he sat down to write. In any event, as in all good comedy, his characters take their misfortunes seriously and don’t try to be funny, which enhances the comic effect.
February 23, 2017
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Almodovar frames his volatile characters as if they’re pieces of a pop collage made of saturated magazine ads. By using backdrops that resemble American television sound stages of the 1950s and 60s, Almodovar creates a world of eccentricity marked by charming and calculated artificiality.
November 30, 2016
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