By Mark Fields

Strange Way of Life

My biggest complaint about Strange Way of Life is that it was over much too soon. The latest provocative film from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother) clocks in at a brief 31 minutes! Almodóvar packs so much into that short time that the viewer is left wanting more.
Ostensibly the story of two grizzled hired guns abruptly reunited after 25 years, Strange Way of Life features lustrous photography, a sumptuous score, and lived-in performances by its two stars, Ethan Hawke and the seemingly-ever-present Pedro Pascal. It is also a gay love story, an unexpected twist for the western genre that is likely long overdue.
Still, the film is a curiosity: an unusual foray into English-language cinema – especially this genre – for the director Almodóvar, and a film without an obvious outlet (theaters are unlikely to screen such a short film). I hope that the story will perhaps be expanded into the full-length feature it deserves.
Mark Fields
Mark Fields has reviewed movies for Out & About since October 2008. In addition, he has written O&A profiles of documentarian Harry Shearer and actress Aubrey Plaza. Over the years, Mark also has written on film for several publications in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and his home state of Indiana, where he also served as on-air movie critic for Indianapolis’s public radio station. Mark was an adjunct instructor of film history at Rowan University from 1998 to 2018. A career arts administrator, he retired in fall 2021 after 16 years as an executive at Wilmington’s Grand Opera House. Mark now leads bike tours part-time and is working on a screenplay. He lives in Trolley Square with his partner Wendy. Mark spent the fastest 22 minutes of his life as an unsuccessful contestant on Jeopardy…sadly, there were no movie questions.