ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER: DVD
A single mother in Madrid sees her only son Estaban (Eloy Azorin) die on his 17th birthday as he runs to seek an actress's autograph. He had never known his father and dearly wanted to. To honour his memory she goes to Barcelona to find the lad's father, a transvestite named Lola who does not know he had a child. First she finds her friend, Agrado (Antonio San Juan), also a transvestite; through him she meets Rosa (Penelope Cruz), a young nun bound for El Salvador, and by happenstance, becomes the personal assistant of Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes), the actress her son admired. She helps Huma manage Nina (Candela Pena), her co-star and Huma's lover, and she becomes Rosa's caretaker during a dicey pregnancy.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is a film for grown ups, full of superb performances and engaging themes. Following the accidental death of her 17 year old son, Esteban (Eloy Azorin), hospital worker and single mother Manuela (Cecilia Roth) leaves Madrid for Barcelona, on a search for the man she left all those years ago - Esteban, now going by the name Lola (Toni Cantó) - and the father of her son.
Manuela's journey is as much for her son's sake as her own - indeed, entirely for his, fuelled by the boy's anguish at never having met him. In all her guises, Almodovar seems to be saying, woman is not only more interesting, complex, unpredictable than man, but stronger and more inspirational - heroic, if you like. The film is something of an ode to woman - but then there is young Esteban's plaintive view that with his father missing, so is half his life. A funny, tragic, involving, painful but deeply satisfying film.
It is Almodovar's most mature and reflective work, leaving us with a strange, gentle sadness, despite its many wonderful, amusing and amazing moments.
Despite its title and its mostly female characters, All About My Mother is far from a chick flick; it's bold, raw and often uncompromisingly tragic. But it also zings with life and humanity, through performances that are as close to perfect as you could wish. Cecilia Roth is astonishing as the haunted mother; Marisa Paredes is powerful as the actress and Penelope Cruz is riveting as the pregnant nun. In Almodóvar's hands this material rises from its melodramatic possibilities to soar as genuine drama of the first order. It's unforgettable. Little wonder it won the Best Foreign Film Award at the Oscars, the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes in 2000.
Published December 26, 2007
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ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER: DVD (M)
Todo sobre mi madre
CAST: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Pena, Rosa Maria Sarda, Antonia San Juan, Penelope Cruz, Toni Cantó, Eloy Azorin
PRODUCER: Augustin Almodóvar
DIRECTOR: Pedro Almodóvar
SCRIPT: Pedro Almodóvar
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Affonso Beato
EDITOR: Jose Salcedo
MUSIC: Alberto Iglesias
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Antxon Gomez
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
PRESENTATION: 4:3 letterbox; DD 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes; cast & crew biographies
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy/Magna Pacific
DVD RELEASE: February 13, 2001