Rated: R
Release Date: 01/14/2021
Production Company: Sony Pictures Classics

Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Rossy de Palma and Julieta Serrano.

Director: Pedro Almodovar. Producers: Agustin Almodovar, Ester Garcia and Cesars Pardinas. Executive Producers: Pedro Almodovar. Screenwriter: Pedro Almodovar. Cinematographer: Jose Luis Alcaine.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

In the riveting drama "Parallel Mothers," Penelope Cruz ("The 355") reunites with writer/director and her longtime collaborator Pedro Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”).

“Parallel Mothers” made a splash on the film festival circuit and is now garnering Awards Season buzz.

In the movie, Cruz stars as Janis Martinez, a successful, professional photographer in Madrid who is committed to her career and is even more thrilled that she's going to have her first child.
Janis is single but fell for a married a forensic anthropologist named Arturo (Israel Elejalde, "The Perfect") who she met during a photo shoot. Janis, who lives in Madrid, is hoping Arturo can help bring closure to her family as they seek to find answers and the remains of relatives who were forced to dig their own graves before they were murdered under the horrific dictatorship of Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
In her village there is an unmarked grave and Janis believes her great, grandfather is buried there.
That's the darkest aspect of "Parallel Mothers," but Almodóvar weaves it in the film in such a complementary fashion.

While in the hospital, Janis is placed in a room with Ana (a terrific Milena Smit, TV 's "The Girl in the Mirror"), a teen who is also having her first child, but unlike Janis she isn't nearly as excited about the experience mainly because the baby’s daddy is pretty much out of sight.

Fortunately, Ana's mother, Teresa (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, "Alex's Strip") is well off and willing to do anything to help her daughter find her way. However, mom is also trying to live her best life and become a stage actress. She’s torn between staying with Ana or chasing her dream.

Once the women give birth, Teresa leaves. Janis and Ana bond and become good friends. Before going their separate ways, they vow to see each other. Fate brings them together. Then an unbelievable situation arises that shakes their friendship and lives to the core.

I like what Pedro Almodóvar has done with "Parallel Mothers." It's like two startling stories in one that focuses on past and present families and how their shared history ultimately connects and defines them.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "PARALLEL MOTHERS"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Book Of Numbers Title: Book Of Numbers
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 81
Production Company: AVCO Embassy Pictures
Director: Raymond St. Jacques
Director of Photography: Gayne Rescher
Screenwriter: Raymond St. Jacques
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: As a kid growing up in San Bernardino, California, I remember this cute, curly-headed, green eyed young guy coming over my family’s house with his handyman/electrician father to do some repair work. Little did I know the shy teen would become an iconic TV star.

Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas who played Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs alongside Don Johnson in the...
Prior to starring in the 1980s hit TV show “Miami Vice,” Philip Michael Thomas made his Broadway debut in which of the following theatrical productions?
“Hair” and “Aquarius”
“Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fiddler On The Roof”
“Pippin” and “The Wiz”
“No Place To Be Somebody” and “The Selling of the President."