Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.


Pedro Almodóvar
3,702 ( 1,030)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Cecilia Roth ... Manuela
Marisa Paredes ... Huma Rojo
Candela Peña ... Nina
Antonia San Juan ... Agrado
Penélope Cruz ... Hermana Rosa
Rosa Maria Sardà ... Madre de Rosa (as Rosa María Sardá)
Fernando Fernán Gómez ... Padre de Rosa
Toni Cantó Toni Cantó ... Lola
Eloy Azorín ... Esteban
Carlos Lozano 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


Argentine Manuela Echevarria, an organ transplant coordinator at a Madrid hospital, ran off from her husband in Barcelona eighteen years ago upon learning that she was pregnant, their son, Esteban, who she has never told about his father despite his curiosity, and her husband who didn't know about the pregnancy when she ran off. An event coinciding with Esteban, an aspiring writer, turning seventeen leads to Manuela feeling the need to return to Barcelona to look for her husband. There, she ends up further acting as the maternal figure for people in need. One is a young nun named Sister Rosa, who she meets through her old friend, a transvestite prostitute who has assumed the name Agrado in her agreeable nature. Rosa has a strained relationship with her own conservative mother, as she is consumed with caring for her ill husband, who suffers from Alzheimer's. The other is actress Huma Rojo, currently appearing as Blanche Dubois in a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Pedro Almodóvar recreates the accident scene from John Cassavetes' Opening Night (1977) as the epicenter of the dramatic conflict. See more »


Agrado: I took her in. She was in a bad way. As usual, with all the shit she takes. I came back from working the Field all night and she'd cleaned the place out. Watches, jewelry, '70s magazines that were my inspiration. 300,000 pesetas. What our most was she took a statue of the Virgin that my mother gave me. What for? She doesn't believe in anything! Unless she's in a satanic sect and wanted it for some ritual.
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Alternate Versions

Three minutes are cut from the US version. The total running time of the Spanish version is 104 minutes. See more »


Written by Dino Saluzzi
Performed by Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), Marc Johnson and José Saluzzi
Courtesy of ECM Records
(from "Cité de la musique" 1997)
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User Reviews

1 May 2005 | by dissidenzSee all my reviews

What a genius Almodovar is! Who else could take such esoteric material and make it not only enjoyable, but relatable. It takes a lot of chutzpah for a male director to swan dive into the gulf of womanhood (I can't believe I just wrote that) and emerge with such truth, HUMAN truth. While the characters of this film seem to represent certain female archetypes, they still flow organically through the ingenious plot. Almodovar shows us that any taboo subject can be tackled without it being exploited when it is done with a compassionate heart. The sheer WARMTH of this movie is what makes it a stunning success. The performances in this film are unforgettable. Cecilia Roth is so dazzling and real, and heartbreaking. But only a genius like Almodovar can break our hearts but still give us hope.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics


Spain | France


Spanish | Catalan

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All About My Mother See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,362, 7 November 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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