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4,369 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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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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Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film made immediately after the stunning two-fisted provocation of Matador and Law of Desire, is a frothy gem, praiseworthy for the fact that it steps back from its potential and easily effected seriousness. It treats melodrama as a point departure, lightly alluding to its conventions as a road deliberately not taken.
August 11, 2006
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