DOB: September 25, 1949
Background: Almodovar was born in a rural small town in Spain. When he was eight his parents sent him to a religious boarding school in Caceres in the hope that he would become a priest, but the movie theater in Caceres is where he found his calling. In the early 1970s he joined the theater group Los Goliardos. He also wrote for counterculture magazines.
Filmography: His first feature films were "Folle, folle, folleme, Tim" (1978) and "Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón" (1980), the latter of which earned a cult following and established the director's provocative, kitschy style. He followed that with the screwball comedy "Labyrinth of Passions" (1982) and a darker melodrama, "Dark Habits" (1983), which satirized Spain's religious institutions. After "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" (1984), "Matador" (1986), and "Law of Desire" (1987) came his first major international success, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988), a light comedy starring frequent collaborator Carmen Maura. "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990) was a controversial film, focusing on the romance between a psychiatric patient and his hostage. After "High Heels" (1991), "Kika" (1993), "The Flower of My Secret" (1995), and "Live Flesh" (1997) came "All About My Mother" (1999), the most honored film in Spanish history, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The director's Oscar success continued with his next film, "Talk to Her" (2002), which won him the Best Original Screenplay prize. Next came "Bad Education" (2004) and then "Volver" (2006), which earned Penelope Cruz her first Academy Award nomination. His last film was "Broken Embraces" (2009), and this year he reunits with Antonio Banderas for "The Skin I Live In."
Academy Awards: Win - Best Original Screenplay ("Talk to Her," 2003)
Best Director nomination:
- "Talk to Her" (2003); lost to Roman Polanski ("The Pianist")
Cannes Film Festival: Wins - Best Director ("All About My Mother," 1999); Best Screenplay ("Volver," 2006); Prize of the Ecumenical Jury ("All About My Mother," 1999)
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