Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.
I've always recognized Pedro Almodóvar's talent. Most of his films are very weird and quite surreal, but sometimes I don't understand him. So I couldn't decide if I would see "All About My Mother" on the movies, or if I would wait for it to come out on video. It was released in Brazil last October, and only yesterday I went to see it at a local cinema. And... What did I think about it? Well... A true, true masterpiece!
The story of the film is about Manuela (wonderfully played by Cecilia Roth), a nurse who works at a hospital in Madrid, Spain, and has a 17 year old son, Esteban, who doesn't know the identity of his father. On the day of his birthday, he dies in an accident and Manuela gets desperate. She reads his notes and finds out that he wanted to know at least the name of his father. So she goes back to Barcelona, where she got pregnant, trying to search for her ex-husband, but some surprises will change her life.
What Almodóvar makes to this movie is just incredible. He makes us cry and laugh- specially in the scenes where the transvestite Agrado is. But, in fact, the film is a deep drama, studying carefully the female universe with strength and realism, and also explaining the importance of a mother. All the main characters are very well developed and each of them has some importance in the plot. It's really amazing how Almodóvar knows women so well, and how he loves and cares about them. His film is a very complex masterpiece, with some important messages and a wonderful story, and should be seen by everyone, even for the American people who don't like subtitles. But pay attention- the dialogues are fabulous!
"All About My Mother" is surely on my Top 10 of 1999. And... let's wait for the Oscar nominees on Tuesday, but I'm sure it will be nominated, and certainly win. It's much better than last year's winner as a foreign language film, "Life is Beautiful", and is a serious must-see. Just do me a favor: DON'T MISS IT!
- Feb 13, 2000