Sunday, September 5, 2010

Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All About My Mother

Movie name: Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All About My Mother
Year of release: 1999
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Penelope Cruz, Candela Pena, Antonia San Juan, Rosa Maria Sarda, Toni Canto, Eloy Azorin
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 10

Synopsis:"Todo Sobre Mi Madre" is, so far, the film from Almodovar who has possibly garnered the most accolades in his career. The film won the Oscar for best foreign picture and went on to win some other 47 awards (amongst acting, writing and other categories). The film continued to illustrate his return to form, that would again be repeated with the fantastic "Hable con Ella" of 2002. The film is centered in women and uses Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" as a unifying theme. Manuela is strong single mother who dramatically loses her son one night. She decides to go to Barcelona to seek out the father of her son, whom has been estranged for so many years. Upon her arrival, she reconnects with some old friendships, namely Agrado a prostitute, whom she knew from when she lived in Barcelona. She also becomes acquainted with Huma, an actress and Rosa, a nun, who coincidentally may have news about her long forgotten husband.
"Todo Sobre Mi Madre" owes much to the classic Hollywood melodrama, but it transcends it since Almodovar makes it his own. His universe, colorful as is, is inhabited by strong women, who unite in moments of despair, one where men are the source of problems, but without whom there's no joy of living. This film in particular manages to perfect all the touches that Almodovar has created all throughout his career - the intersecting story lines, the humor, the surreal side of life, the drama of every day, without making it look trivial or common. The acting is, as always fantastic, particularly from Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes and Penelope Cruz. A fantastic achievement.