Raimunda (Cruz) is a smart, sexy, vivacious woman living in Madrid with her adolescent daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo) and layabout husband, Paco (de la Torre). Nearby lives Raimunda's younger sister, Sole (Lola Dueas), who works as a hair stylist and accompanies Raimunda on visits to see their senile elderly aunt. The aunt lives in La Mancha, together with the ghost of their mother Irene (Maura), who perished years before in a house fire. After a couple of deaths close to home shake up their lives, Raimunda and Sole begin to uncover the sordid truth behind their family past.
Part murder mystery, part ghost story, and one hundred percent witty, estrogen-fueled fantasy, Almodovar's story of three generations of women is one of the Spanish director's most exuberant films. Enamored of outcasts and oddballs, Almodovar here introduces an element of the supernatural to make an already compelling story of sex, lies, and secrecy even more intriguing. Channeling her inner Anna Magnani, Cruz is a force of nature bursting with brassy verve and self-confidence, especially during her heart-melting solo rendition of the flamenco song "Volver." Co-stars Dueñas, Maura, and Blanca Portillo, playing a cancer-ridden friend of the family, make this moving, enchanting drama an irresistible ensemble film.