The 12 Days of Pedro Almodóvar: A Movie for Every Family Holiday Occasion


Movie lovers just received the best holiday gift a cineaste could ask for: all of Pedro Almódovar’s films are now available on iTunes. That’s 19 movies to be exact, available in high-definition for the first time in the United States. Make it a Pedro Almódovar Christmas-Kwanzaa-Hanukkah-Festivus-what have you this year — and make it a family affair (extra melodramatic the way Almódovar would like it) by watching one movie for every festive family gathering. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and may be the only way you survive the holidays.

Dark Habits

“A nightclub singer seeks refuge with gay nuns on dope in a Madrid convent.”

Watch it with . . . your conservative and uber religious relatives.

Pepi, Luci, Bom

“The plot follows the wild adventures of three friends: Pepi, an independent modern woman; Luci, a mousy, masochistic housewife; and Bom, a lesbian punk rock singer.”

Watch it with . . . your cool older cousins who worship The Fabulous Stains.

All About My Mother

“Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.”

Watch it with . . . your dear mother who likes to remind you that we don’t always choose our family.

Live Flesh

“After leaving jail, Víctor is still in love with Elena, but she’s married to the former cop -now basketball player- who became paralysed by a shot from Víctor’s gun…”

Watch it with . . . your nosy aunt who likes to gossip about the family’s skeletons in the closet.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

“Pepas’s lover, Iván, leaves her and she tries to contact him to find out why he’s left. In her search for Iván, she confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she is. Meanwhile; Candela, her friend, is afraid the police might be looking for her because of her ex-boyfriend’s, a muslim terrorist, criminal activities. As the plot develops, it is revealed that everyone’s lives are more intertwined than they could have ever expected.”

Watch it with . . . the women in your family who have no f*cks left to give.

Talk to Her

“Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.”

Watch it with . . . Your sad uncle who just broke up with his girlfriend and needs to wallow a bit longer.

I’m So Excited

“When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew, and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish of the moment and face the greatest danger, which we carry within ourselves.”

Watch it with . . . your curmudgeonly grandfather who can’t stop complaining about how bad his flight was.

The Skin I Live In

“A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.”

Watch it with . . . your surly stepmom who just had her nose done.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

“An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.”

Watch it with . . . that relative who is a little too desperate to get married and settle down.


“After a casual encounter, a brokenhearted woman decides to confront her life and the most important events about her stranded daughter.”

Watch it with . . . your mom’s bestie who you consider family and is just trying to find herself.

Bad Education

“The film focuses on two reunited childhood friends and lovers caught up in a stylized murder mystery. Along with metafiction, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, transsexuality and drug use are also important themes and devices in the plot, which led the MPAA to give the film an NC-17 rating.”

Watch it with . . . your precocious trans sibling who wants to see more movies about transgender identity.


“Revolving around an eccentric family of women from a wind-swept region south of Madrid, Cruz plays Raimunda, a working-class woman forced to go to great lengths to protect her 14-year-old daughter Paula. To top off the family crisis, her mother Irene comes back from the dead to tie up loose ends.”

Watch it with . . . your childhood pal who can’t seem to meet the right guy and has been listening to Beyoncé on repeat.