Even Almodóvar’s lesser movies, of which this is one, are always worth watching. The moves here will be familiar to fans–passion, dissolution, artistic inspiration and ennui, telenovelistic revelations and reversals, improbably beautiful people in fantastic apartments–but there’s a desultory quality to the movie, a sullenness; it feels like Almodóvar is setting out his usual predictably affecting wares, but he’s not terribly excited about it, and doesn’t care if you are, either. I had a similar response to Volver, in 2006. It’s beginning to look like the great era of of Almodóvar’s comedies was the late 80’s, the great era of his melodramas was the early 00’s, and now he’s sort of coasting down the other side with these smaller, more wistful pictures. I hope I’m wrong and that more greatness is coming.