Pedro Almodóvar is being heralded for his “heart as big as the Grand Canyon”…
The 63-year-old Spanish filmmaker was honored at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences retrospective of Almodóvar’s work in London, which was attended by celebrities like Grace Jones, Kristen Scott Thomas and Miranda Richardson.
During the high-profile event, Almodóvar brother Agustin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Stephen Frears and Sally Potter were among the people offering their tributes to the Oscar-winning filmmaker.
Quentin Tarantino even participated in special pre-recorded video to thank Almodóvar for having a “a filmography to beat.” Meanwhile, Frears enthused about Almodóvar’s ability to make everything seem natural.
“He creates a coherent world in which all of the elements fit,” he said. “It comes out of his imagination complete. I met him in New York when I was with My Beautiful Laundrette. I felt like an impostor; here was the transgressive real thing. Mine was a charade.”
A humbled Almodóvar admitted to being embarrassed by all the kind words.
“Tonight I know more about myself than ever,” he joked. “I’ve always strived to try and make life more livable with my films. It’s the homework of any kind of artistic expression. That was the lesson I learned from my mother.”
He even revealed that he’d tried and failed to nab the rights to books like The Hours, Silence of the Lambs, The Human Stain and The Reader, any of which would have been his first foray into English-language film. It’s a bridge he says he’ll likely not attempt to cross again.
“But you have to respect destiny. Perhaps I was not the one to make the movies that I now admire so much.”
And as a delight to the audience, Almodóvar shared a clip from his new film I’m So Excited, which Sony Pictures Classics will release next year. The film, which was originally titled Los Amantes Pasajeros, is the famed director’s return to comedy after a number of dramas like The Skin I Live In and Habla con ella.
The film’s all-star cast includes Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raul Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Willy Toledo, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Blanca Suárez, José Luis Torrijo, José María Yazpik and Laya Martí, with special collaborations from Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Paz Vega.