7.8/10
84,656
238 user 87 critic

All About My Mother (1999)

Todo sobre mi madre (original title)
R | | Drama | 31 March 2000 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Pedro Almodóvar
Reviews
Popularity
3,425 ( 494)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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
Learn more

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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 transgender woman named Lola who does not know she has a child. First she finds her friend, Agrado, a wild yet caring transgender woman; through her 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 " A Streetcar Named Desire," the mothers (and fathers and actors) live out grief, love, and friendship. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex talk | friend | grief | actress | nun | See All (143) »

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:

View content advisory »
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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 »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in 7 Numara (2000) 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 ECM Records
(from "Cité de la musique" 1997)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Strong well performed drama
4 February 2010 | by StampsfightclubSee all my reviews

After a tragic family crisis Manuela (Roth) escapes her current life by fleeing to Barcelona where she hopes to find her former lover and her son's father.

Having been a big fan of Volver I decided to check out another Pedro Almodovar classic and was not to be disappointed as I was brought into another strong family drama that adds the deftest of comedy touches that never overshadow the dark and dramatic lives of the characters.

Cecilia Roth stars as central protagonist Manuela who looks for some escapism after seeing one too many troubles at home and when disaster strikes she flees to Barcelona where she hopes to discover where her son's father and her former lover is. Lola, a transvestite is not aware of Esteban which as the film progresses delivers numerous dramatic consequences and tear threatening montages.

As writer and director Almodovar seems to be able to cement the right dramatic input at the right time, delivering a supposed expectancy only to strive to shock the audience with a powerful emotional twist or an unthinkable idea. To say what the unthinkable idea is in this 1999 release would be to spoil a well worked powerfully controlled heartbreaker, which would cost the true value of a picture purposefully identified with its drama.

We have underage pregnancies, traumatic and unexpected death, family rivalry, former lovers, drug abuse and fiery working relationships that juxtaposed, all cement this in the drama genre and given the context they are used in add to a great sense of realism. The way everything threads together is nicely worked with only a few hitches.

Roth's character a former actress is conveniently placed in a theatre to see what will follow to recapture the past, the absence of the father for such a long time distances some emotional connection for the audience and no matter how hard the plot works to convey its powerful message it never feels as compassionate and as emotionally connected as Volver.

This film does boast some tremendous performances. A young Penelope Cruz would go on and generate her international stardom with this performance as the young worker who is pregnant. Cecilia Roth carries the picture with her constant driven attitude to not look back and thrives on living in the moment. The supporting cast all lend a strong array of drama and some good comedy from Antonio San Juan as Agrado, especially her scene on stage.

The cinematography and usage of various places keeps the feisty drama alive. The dreadful scene with the prostitutes, the stage for the replica of A Streetcar named desire and the terrible incident in Madrid all combine to make this a wonderful drama.

Strong well performed and written drama 8.5/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Spain | France

Language:

Spanish | Catalan

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All About My Mother See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,362, 7 November 1999

Gross USA:

$8,344,738

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$67,952,969
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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