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The Human Voice

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Spain

2020

30m

Director Pedro Almodóvar

Starring Tilda Swinton, Agustín Almodóvar, Miguel Almodóvar, Pablo Almodóvar

Genre Drama

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A short film adaptation of the legendary French poet, playwright, novelist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau's one-act play of the same name. The story of a woman speaking on the telephone to her (invisible and inaudible) departing lover, who has abandoned her to marry another woman.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

The Film Stage by

Almodóvar’s work always evokes other artforms beyond the cinema. The Human Voice shows how great texts are malleable: this is his particular take, and not a definitive, canonical edition.
80

New York Magazine (Vulture) by Alison Willmore

The Human Voice is all about the muddied lines between the fabricated and the genuine, and about how much a performance can be divorced from the sincere feelings that might be undergirding it.
100

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

This small package stands alongside the exemplary feature-length work in one of this generation’s foremost filmographies.
100

Los Angeles Times by Carlos Aguilar

Swinton manifests, with magnificently nuanced modulation, an emotional tangle; at times, it is raw with a cathartic force, while enmeshed with meekly conciliatory moments of codependence. Wielding a hatchet with violent purpose or begging for a final rendezvous, Swinton’s every scorching word cuts deep.
50

Vanity Fair by Cassie da Costa

The Human Voice’s images tend to call out in vain; not an utterance is heard. They are symbols suspended in time and space, indicators of something that doesn’t seem to matter very much.
75

The Film Stage by David Katz

Almodóvar’s work always evokes other artforms beyond the cinema. The Human Voice shows how great texts are malleable: this is his particular take, and not a definitive, canonical edition.
80

Variety by Guy Lodge

The Human Voice, in all its delicious absurdity and kitsch extravagance, ties into the concerns of emotional abandonment and disrupted communication that have long run through his [Almodóvar's] more ostensibly serious works.
91

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

This is Almodóvar, and so the magnificence is worn lightly, with irony and mischief and a cheeky little moral about how to be a modern woman trapped in the very unmodern role of spurned lover: be hysterical if you want, be philosophical if you can, but never underestimate the liberating power of a little light revenge.
85

Polygon by Karen Han

It’s a delight no matter how you slice it; for fans, it’s a reminder of what makes Almodóvar such a great director, and for neophytes, it’s an unforgettable introduction.
89

Paste Magazine by Natalia Keogan

Instead of acting as a short, satisfying jaunt through Almodóvar’s aesthetic, The Human Voice is an exercise in deconstructing the very tenets the filmmaker has propped himself on throughout the entirety of his career.

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