Unveiling Almodóvar’s Latest Masterpiece: “Strange Way of Life” Blends Passion, Identity, and Western Tropes

A queer western to conquer Cannes

Unveiling Almodóvar’s Latest Masterpiece: “Strange Way of Life” Blends Passion, Identity, and Western Tropes
Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

The Cannes Film Festival has just begun. The most important film festival in all of Europe is back, and this time it features two quite unexpected protagonists. On one hand, there’s Johnny Depp, who returns from his “cancellation” with a seven-minute ovation. On the other hand, there’s Michael Douglas, who has received the Honorary Palme d’Or.

But the festival has only just begun, and there are many, many surprises to come. One of the most anticipated is “Strange Way of Life,” the next film in the form of a medium-length feature by Pedro Almodóvar. The Spanish director is a classic at the festival and has won major awards at Cannes.

However, this time he participates as a guest with this film, which is unlike anything he has done before. It is one of his first works in English, and it features two of the best actors of the moment as the protagonists: none other than Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke.

What is Strange Way of Life about?

The official synopsis of Strange Way of Life makes it clear that the film will be very different from what Almodóvar has done so far. However, it embodies his spirit by featuring two homosexual protagonists in a hostile environment. The story goes as follows:

A man rides on horseback across the desert that separates him from Bitter Creek. He has come to visit Sheriff Jake. Twenty-five years earlier, they worked together as hired gunslingers. Silva comes with the pretext of reconnecting with his old friend, and indeed, they celebrate their reunion. However, the next morning, Sheriff Jake reveals that the reason for Silva’s journey is not simply the memory of their old friendship.

The film has been entirely shot in the Tabernas Desert (Almería, Spain), a common setting for classic westerns. And, according to the director, it will feature “dialogues that have not been seen before in a western.” The clear theme is masculinity “in a profound sense,” and just by watching the trailer, one can realize that the performances will be very intriguing.

Strange Way of Life cast

The most striking element of Strange Way of Life is undoubtedly its cast. As mentioned before, the main protagonists are Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. Both actors are at stellar points in their careers but have made room to work with the renowned Spanish director, who has significant international influence. However, they are not the only ones who make up the cast, which is quite intriguing.

Alongside Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, the cast includes Jason Fernández, José Condessa, George Steane, Manu Ríos, Pedro Casablanc, Sara Sálamo, and Erenice Lohan. This creates an interesting mix of American and Spanish actors, keeping the Almodóvar brand held high.

How long is Strange Way of Life?

Despite being a grand production within the framework of the Cannes Film Festival, Strange Way of Life doesn’t follow the usual duration. It’s not just that it’s not one of those three-hour movies we’re becoming accustomed to, but it’s not even a feature-length film.

In reality, it is a 30-minute short film that could be categorized as a medium-length feature. However, this doesn’t make it any less interesting. The story is condensed in the best possible way, and according to Pedro Almodóvar himself, this duration is perfect for portraying the story of an impossible love.

Strange Way of Life Release Date

Strange Way of Life, as the film is titled in our country, will premiere this week at the Cannes Film Festival. Afterwards, on May 26th, it will be released in Spanish cinemas, albeit in a limited selection, due to its shorter duration as mentioned before.

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Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

Cultural journalist specialized in film, series, comics, video games, and everything your parents tried to keep you away from during your childhood. Also an aspiring film director, screenwriter, and professional troublemaker.

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