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All About My Mother (1999)
"Todo sobre mi madre" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  16 April 1999 (Spain)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 57,496 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 220 user | 129 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Young Esteban want to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by the mother Manuela.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 49 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Nina
Antonia San Juan ...
Agrado
...
Rosa Maria Sardà ...
Madre de Rosa (as Rosa María Sardá)
Fernando Fernán Gómez ...
Toni Cantó ...
Lola
Eloy Azorín ...
Esteban
Carlos Lozano ...
Mario
Fernando Guillén ...
Doctor en 'Un tranvía llamado Deseo'
Manuel Morón ...
Doctor 1
José Luis Torrijo ...
Doctor 2
Juan José Otegui ...
Ginecólogo
Carmen Balagué
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Storyline

A single mother in Madrid sees her only son die on his 17th birthday as he runs to seek an actress's autograph. She goes to Barcelona to find the lad's father, a transvestite named Lola who does not know he has a child. First she finds her friend, Agrado, a wild yet caring transvestite; through him she meets Rosa, a young nun bound for El Salvador, but instead finds out she is pregnant by Lola. Manuela becomes the personal assistant of Huma Rojo, the actress her son admired, by helping Huma manage Nina, the co-star and Huma's lover. However, Agrado soon takes over when Manuela must care for Hermana Rosa's risky pregnancy. With echos of Lorca, "All About Eve," and "Streetcar Named Desire," the mothers (and fathers and actors) live out grief, love, and friendship. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Part of every woman is a mother/actress/saint/sinner. And part of every man is a woman. (English trailer)

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality including strong sexual dialogue, language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

16 April 1999 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

All About My Mother  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$89,515 (USA) (19 November 1999)

Gross:

ESP 1,656,949,822 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pedro Almodóvar dedicated his movie to Bette Davis, Gena Rowlands and Romy Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Agrado: Just don't disappear again. I like to say good-bye to the people I love, even if it's only to cry my eyes out, bitch.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 21 Grams (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Coral para mi pequeño y lejano pueblo
Written by Dino Saluzzi
Performed by Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), Marc Johnson and José Saluzzi
Courtesy of EMC Records
(from "Cité de la musique" 1997)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What a sensational study of the women universe!
13 February 2000 | by (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – See all my reviews

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!

Rating: 10/10


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