Julianne Moore will star alongside Tilda Swinton in The Room Next Door, the first English-language film from Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.
The dual casting was confirmed by Almodóvar’s production company, El Deseo, this morning with a re-post on its Instagram story following months of speculation and online rumors. John Turturro rounds out the cast announced today.
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“The actresses are placed under the command of the director from La Mancha in a drama between mother and daughter that will be filmed in the spring in New York and Madrid and will be his first film shot in English,” the post said.
The Room Next Door will be Almodóvar’s first feature-length project since 2021’s Parallel Mothers, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival. The film starred Penelope Cruz — who won the Best Actress prize at Venice — and Milena Smit as single mothers who became pregnant by accident and meet in a hospital room as they are about to give birth.
Per the plot synopsis released by Pathe, The Room Next Door is the complex story of a flawed mother and her daughter, separated by a massive misunderstanding. At the heart of this conflict, Ingrid (Moore), a friend of Martha’s (Swinton) mother, becomes a witness to each person’s pain and bitterness. Martha is a war reporter, Ingrid is an autofiction novelist. The film addresses the limitless cruelty of wars and highlights the unique approaches of the two writers to depict reality. It explores the themes of death, friendship and sexual pleasure, considered essential allies in the fight against horror. In a house nestled in the heart of a nature reserve in New England, the two friends will experience a situation that is both extreme and surprisingly tender.
The upcoming feature marks the Talk to Her and All About My Mother Oscar winner’s second recent attempt at English-language filmmaking. In 2022, we reported that Almodóvar had dropped out of directing A Manual for Cleaning Women, which had Cate Blanchett set to star and produce under her Dirty Films label. The feature project was announced back in January 2022 and was based on Lucia Berlin’s 43-part collection of short stories that examine the lives of women working a wide variety of demanding jobs.
“It has been a very painful decision for me,” Almodóvar told Deadline at the time. “I have dreamt of working with Cate for such a long time. Dirty Films has been so generous with me this whole time and I was blinded by excitement, but unfortunately, I no longer feel able to fully realize this film.”
Swinton previously teased her involvement in The Room Next Door during an interview with a French culture magazine. She and Almodóvar collaborated on short film The Human Voice.
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