A Manual For Cleaning Women: Cate Blanchett To Lead Pedro Almodóvar's First English-Language Feature

I don't know what kind of good karma points my fellow gays and I cashed in to deserve this, but the cinema gods have truly bestowed upon us the greatest gift imaginable. The brilliant Pedro Almodóvar, director of deliciously perverse films like "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," "All About My Mother," and "The Skin I Live In," has announced his next project, the film adaptation of "A Manual for Cleaning Women." The film will also serve as his first feature foray into English language cinema. 

Based on Lucia Berlin's short story collection of the same name, Almodóvar is in the early stages of development on "A Manual for Cleaning Women" with Cate Blanchett's production company Dirty Films, and Variety reports that Blanchett has also signed on to star. If you're quiet enough, you might hear the collective fainting of queer cinephiles everywhere reading this news report.

Almodóvar has been working on "A Manual For Cleaning Women" for a bit, wanting to write the script in Spanish first before translating to English, but was fantasy booking Blanchett as the lead even last year. "The idea of working with Cate is fantastic, because I love her absolutely," he said in an interview with Empire. "I admire her a lot and she's perfect for the character." Empire even noted that it was too early to tell if the casting was going to happen, but noted that Almodóvar sounds excited. Now that we know the truth of Blanchett's casting, it seems like he was teasing the news knowing it was going to stir us all into an excitement frenzy. Spoiler alert: He was right.

A Perfect Project for Pedro

It's adventurous, to say the least, that Almodóvar has decided to tackle Lucia Berlin's short story collection, as the book contains a whopping 43 different stories about women working in a variety of demanding jobs. It's honestly very reminiscent of the Stephen Schwartz musical "Working" except without the frequently awkward choice to cast high schoolers in roles like "prostitute." Berlin's story is an unflinching examination of the realities plaguing women in the workforce, refusing to sugarcoat experiences to something more palatable.

Almodóvar's love of Blanchett is rivaled by his love of Berlin, saying in an interview with Vulture

"She was an American writer from the '40s. She was an alcoholic. She was everything. Sometimes she had to work by cleaning houses. It's incredible, funny, and sad. The reality she's telling is very sad." 

Almodóvar has always been fascinated with amplifying stories of complicated women, and with Blanchett on board, this one is definitely worth the excitement.