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Almodóvar gets left off the list.

Almodóvar gets left off the list. (photo)

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There’s a hot new drama from Pedro Almodóvar; it’s just not his new movie. Spain’s most famous living filmmaker has had a tempestuous relationship with the Spanish Cinema Academy for year. He and his brother Agustín left the Academy in a huff in 2005 to protest the new voting rules for the Goyas (Spain’s Oscars).

Now the Academy’s returned the favor by leaving “Broken Embraces” — Almodóvar’s latest — off the short-list for their official Academy Award submission. The nods instead went to Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s “Gordos,” Fernando Trueba’s “The Dancer and the Thief” and the Isabel Coixet’s little-loved “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo” (which Screen‘s Lee Marshall deemed “as empty as a shiny new Prada handbag on a boutique shelf”).

The gap between Almodóvar and his homeland is vast: like Woody Allen on the topic of America, Almodóvar’s long complained that he’s better appreciated abroad, especially in France. He does play well at the Oscars, and you’d think Spain would be interested in putting its best game face forward. Sanchez certainly thought so: “If I had to chose, I would have chosen Almodóvar.” Coixet was testier and less diplomatic: “Pedro has been there many times so perhaps they thought it’s time to open other possibilities.”

Or maybe everyone’s just tired of Spain’s de facto representative to the world being someone who can’t get along with them, which seems be fair. Either way, reviews of the film itself were mixed at Cannes, with even those fond of it admitting it doesn’t find the director breaking new ground.

Either way, Almodóvar’ll continue to churn out one film every two years, and — grandfathered as he is into the international cinematic establishment at this point — he’ll always be a prominent figure. Spain may have officially disowned him, at least this year, but — for better or worse — Almodóvar is cinematic Spain to the rest of the world.

[Photo: a still from “Broken Embraces,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2009]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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