‘All About My Mother’ Movie Review: Almodor’s Heartwarming Story of Marginal Mothers

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A still from 'All About My Mother'.
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A still from ‘All About My Mother’. | Photo credit: MUBI

“To all the actresses who have played actresses. To all the working women. To the men who act and be women. To all the people who want to be mothers. To my mother,” Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar reads over the end credits of his 1999 film Caballero. All about my mother. Starring Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Marisa Paredes and Antonia San Juan, Almodóvar’s film about the lives of women on the margins of society won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2000 Academy Awards.

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Manuela (Cecilia Roth) is a single mother who works as a nurse at a hospital overseeing organ donation. After losing her son in an accident on his seventeenth birthday, Manuela quits her job and finds her way back to Barcelona in search of her father. In the streets of La Sagrada Familia, she befriends Hermana Rosa (Penelope Cruz), a pregnant HIV-positive nun, and reunites with Agrado (Antonia San Juan), a transwoman in the sex trade. . During her stay, she also opens her home to Huma Rojo (Marissa Paredes), a famous actor, and raises a family with social outcasts.

All About My Mother (Spanish)

Director: Pedro Almodovar Caballero

Cast: Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan

Runtime: 101 minutes

Story: Pedro Almodovar’s Oscar-winning comedy-drama about a grieving mother, an overworked actress, her jealous lover, and a pregnant nun.

All about my mother or Todo Sobre Mi Madre Welcomes you to the world of women where they play the roles of mother, daughter, actor, nurse, nun and sex worker while trying to keep their sense of self. Her performances often set the stage for the off-stage themes Almodovar pursues—from Egrado’s powerful monologue on the idea of ​​being an authentic woman to Hermana Rosa’s privileges with her and her debauchery during church. And maps the rocks. his life.

The film is a cinematic story for women on screen. Through its narrative it blurs the lines between real life and the stage. His references like masterpieces of theater and cinema A Streetcar Named Desire. Make the effort meaningful.

In an era where the mass media has seen the HIV/AIDS epidemic from the perspective of a queer man, the Spanish director turns his lens on the compassion of women and their partners who are silently living with the disease. are victims.

However, it is the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the film that sets the tone for the remaining hour and a half. Esteban who doesn’t know his father’s identity is contributing to his own problems, while Manuela has her own secrets to hide. The two are very much in love with each other but the audience can sense a palpable tension on screen during their interactions – in one instance, Esteban asks his mother if she would sell her body to provide for him.

It’s moments like these that highlight Almodovar’s ability to translate a psychological connection to the screen with ease. Her journey back to Barcelona not only relieves her and the audience of tension, but also allows us to see Manuela, who hides behind the mask of a mother and dutiful nurse.

Through the myth of women on the margins, the Spanish director takes away the traditional idea of ​​motherhood and motherhood and twists it to suit her characters and their needs.

All About My Mother is currently streaming on MUBI.

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