August 3, 2013 - The title of this Spanish-made film from 2006 translates to "return" in English. It's a fitting title since the plot focuses on the return of a dead mother to settle some unfinished business. The film is in Spanish with subtitles. Penélope Cruz was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role.

Cruz plays Raimunda, a still young woman married to a loser husband and doing her best to raise a teenage daughter named Paula. Raimunda and her sister, Soledad, live in Barcelona, but they grew up in a village known for fierce winds and deadly fires. As the movie opens, they have returned to the village to clean up the grave of their mother. She, along with their father, died three years ago in one of the fires the village is famous for. Later, they stop to visit their crazy aunt, also named Paula, who swears that Raimunda's mother lingers in the house. They also visit Augustina, a family friend who lives across the street from Aunt Paula and looks in on her. Augustina's mother disappeared three years ago, and Augustina wants desperately to know what happened to her.

Raimunda soon has bigger problems of her own. Her husband, Paco, loses his job and then his life. Raimunda quickly proves herself an opportunist and a savvy businesswoman as she deals with whatever situation pops up.

Overall review: *** Cruz heads a standout cast that handles the comedy and the drama with ease. There were two mysteries here. One I sorted out, the other I didn't see coming. My only criticism is that the ending seemed rather abrupt.