All About My Mother

"Very Good"

All About My Mother Review


Director Pedro Almodovar explains the relationship between tunnels and the main character of Manuela (Cecila Roth) in All About My Mother with the line: "Manuela runs away. She always runs away on a train, through endless tunnels."

Indeed, Manuela is always moving. With the untimely death of her son, Estoban, she moves to Barcelona to embark upon a search for Estoban's father. In Barcelona, she is constantly moving from one place to another, doing something or another for someone. Save a transsexual prostitute (Antonio San Juan) here, help a pregnant nun (Penelope Cruz) there. Help smooth out the turbulent lesbian relationship between two actresses (Marisa Paredes and Candela Pena) here, usher an older woman (Rosa Maria Sarda) into a great understanding of life there. She never stops.

It seems so odd, then, that the one thing that All About My Mother would have needed to be a really great film was a better pace.

All About My Mother is an interesting, somewhat surreal and oftentimes bizarre journey of self-discovery that comes during the search of Manuela for her transsexual ex-husband, Lola. Admittedly, it is one of more bizarre foreign films I have seen (although this is not a long list and Il Mostro was pretty trippy, too). However, All About My Mother does end up being an incredibly interesting film to watch.

Penned and directed by Pedro Almodovar, All About My Mother succeeds is doing several noteworthy things. The first of which is making critics laugh. I saw this at a Cleveland press-only screening with five other critics, and we all had at least a few moments where we unleashed our tongue to let loose a chuckle. The second of which is accomplishing what amounts to a nearly all-female cast. In the cast we have one supporting male, the boy who plays Estoban. The rest of the film is comprised of women, and thus it is like watching a Spanish version of the cafe scenes in "Sex and the City" for about an hour and three-quarters. The third and final thing is accomplishing a movie which deserves a second glance.

To fans of the surreal, who normally can handle subtitles, All About My Mother will be quite a treat. It is a film that is able to easily provide interesting imagery (a joint effort of the great directing on behalf Pedro Almodovar and the haunting photography of Affonso Beato), incredible dialogue, and at the same time make you ponder over it.

Despite these three major strengths, however, All About My Mother is lacking in one major element: pace. Certain movies can engage themselves upon thought alone. Others rely on action. Because All About My Mother has absolutely no action to it, it must rely entirely upon thought for pacing. The thought in All About My Mother is enough to fill perhaps a thirty-minute short. There is simply not enough pacing present to sustain this film.

All About My Mother has been voted the best foreign film of the year by several major critics circles. To say this about All About My Mother makes me wonder what the other foreign films were like this year. It's good. It gets a lukewarm recommendation. But its not that great.

Then again, that's the problem when you have to give a film points just for being foreign.

Aka Todo Sobre Mi Madre.

My Mother can beat up your mother.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th April 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $67.9M

Budget: $8.3M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Renn Productions, France 2 Cinéma

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Fresh: 78 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Manuela, as Huma, as Rosa, as Nina, as Agrado, as Rosa's Mother, as Lola, as Esteban, as Rosa's Father, Carlos Lozano as Mario, Fernando Guillén as Actor "Doctor", Manuel Morón as Doctor 1, José Luis Torrijo as Doctor 2, Malena Gutiérrez as Malena, Yael Barnatán as Yael

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.