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Manuela is a hard-working single mom who has raised her son Esteban by herself since the time he was born. On his 17th birthday they go to the theater and after the show, Esteban tries to get the main actress' autograph but is run down on the street and dies. Manuela is beside herself with grief and decides to return to Barcelona to tell the boy's transgender father Lola, about the death of the son he never knew he had. He is nowhere to be found but Manuela does find an old friend, Agrado and meets up with a pregnant nun, Rosa. Together they form a life and become fast friends - until tragedy strikes again. Written by
Well, as I was saying, it costs a lot to be authentic, ma'am. And one can't be stingy with these things because you are more authentic the more you resemble what you've dreamed of being.
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This time of the year, when we talk about movies, we have to talk about Oscar. The nominees will be announced this Tuesday, but there are already favorites in some categories. Some people still doubt that "American Beauty" will win as best picture- which I don't, because I think it was the best film of the decade- but almost everyone agrees that this wonderful movie "Todo sobre mi madre"/ "All About My Mother" will win as best foreign language film. And it really deserves that.
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!
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