Freeze Frame: “Parallel Mothers” (R), “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” (PG)

Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar continues to show why he’s at the top of his game. Another Oscar winner, actress Penelope Cruz stars in Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers.” It’s the tale of two women whose newborns may have been accidentally switched at birth. Cruz plays a successful single photographer who finds herself in the family way. In the hospital, she meets a young woman with whom she forms a strong bond. The two women give birth at virtually the same time. Their relationship becomes strained when the identity of Cruz’s child comes into question. This film marks the seventh time that Almodovar and Cruz have teamed up and it’s apparent that they bring out the best in each other. And, as always, Almodovar employs bold colors that help establish the movie’s surprisingly wistful mood. “Parallel Mothers” is a complex and very adult and edgy drama that’s that smartly tackles some thorny issues.


On the other end of the cinematic spectrum, Disney+ is offering “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” the sixth feature film in the popular animated franchise that has generated over $6 billion at the worldwide box office. A pair of clueless and foolhardy weasels require rescue by their swashbuckling cousin when they wander into a subterranean prehistoric lost world. While the original celebrity voice cast has been mostly replaced by sound-alikes, the toddlers won’t notice. Simon Pegg does return as the voice the titular one-eyed weasel who is part Errol Flynn, part Jerry Lewis. The animation is top notch, as always, but the storyline and dialogue are predictably generic.

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