Pedro Almodóvar leaves the direction of the adaptation of ‘Manual for cleaning women’

Eight months after announcing his participation in the project, Pedro Almodvar has decided to abandon the direction of what was going to be his first film in English: The film adaptation of five of the forty-three stories that make up Lucia Berlin’s novel that in Spain we know as ‘Manual for cleaning women’. Precisely, the fact that it was going to be shot mainly in English has been one of the main reasons why the Spanish filmmaker has decided to step aside, because according to Deadline he has not felt prepared to tackle a project of this magnitude in another language other than their own. Perhaps not by chance, this August Almodvar has been shooting the short film in the Tabernas de Almera desert ‘strange way of life’, a western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke that the filmmaker defines as “his answer to ‘Brokeback Mountain'”. This is his second work in English after the short film ‘The Human Voice’, which in 2020 starred Tilda Swinton. Despite being shot in English, the production of both short films took place in Spain with a majority Spanish team, and perhaps Almodvar has not felt comfortable with the idea of ​​working outside our country and his comfort zone. Be that as it may, those responsible for ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’ they are already looking for a new director. Among those responsible is Cate Blanchett, the future star of this film by Dirty Films and New Republic Pictures in which the actress also acts as a producer along with Andrew Upton, Coco Francini, Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer.

‘Manual for cleaning women’ brings together the best stories of the legendary American storyteller Lucia Berlin, one of the great rediscoveries of the last decade. Her stories are largely autobiographical: They recreate her childhood in different mining towns in the United States, her adolescence among the high society of Santiago de Chile, three failed marriages, her problems with alcohol and the different jobs she held to get ahead on her own. four children. Without giving up humor, with a wit reminiscent of Lorrie Moore and the perceptive acuity of Raymond Carver, Berlin focuses on everyday life to the point of achieving true aesthetic miracles. Her wry gaze can uncover magic in a laundromat in the American Southwest, focus on wealthy California households, or pinpoint the atmosphere of a run-down restaurant in Mexico City. The women in her stories are often clueless, but at the same time they are strong, intelligent and, above all, real. Ren, cry, love and drink; they survive. Finally, it should be mentioned that last May the aforementioned Cate Blanchett was awarded the first International Goya, a distinction created this year by the Film Academy to “recognize personalities who contribute to cinema as an art that unites cultures and viewers from all over the world.” “. This award was given by Pedro Almodvar himself, in what was seen by a large majority as a direct consequence of what was going to be the collaboration of both in ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’.