Archive for October 21st, 2009

all about my mother 1

(Spain 1999 101m) DVD1/2

Aka. Todo Sobre Mi Madre

Children are not made in a day

p  Pedro Almodóvar  d/w  Pedro Almodóvar  ph  Alfonso Beato  ed  José Salcedo  m  Alberto Iglesias  art  Antxón Gómez 

Cecilia Roth (Manuela), Marisa Paredes (Huma Rojo), Penélope Cruz (Hermana Rosa), Antonia San Juan (Agrado), Eloy Azorin (Esteban), Toni Canto (Lola), Candela Peña (Nina), Rosa Maria Sardà (Rosa’s mother), Fernando Fernan Gomez (Rosa’s father), Carlos Lozano (Mario), Cayetana Guillen Cuervo (Mamen),

There had been hints in Live Flesh that Pedro Almodóvar was achieving a hitherto sense of maturity in his work.  But what made his next film seem all the more astonishing was not that this newfound maturity was so plain to see but that he did it with the very same sort of characters that populated his earlier, extravagant sex comedies.  I mean, the plot is the sort of thing the working class Yorkshire playwright played by Graham Chapman in that immortal Python sketch might write about if his writer’s cramp would only go away. 

            Manuela, a counsellor at a local Madrid hospital specialising in organ donation, finds her private life imitate her work when her young son, Esteban, is tragically killed on the night of his 18th birthday when he is run down by a car chasing after another vehicle taking away the star of the play he’d just seen as a birthday treat.  Turning her back on her life, Manuela runs off to Barcelona, from whence she had fled 18 years previously to have her son.  She intends to look up her son’s father, Lola, a transvestite formerly called Esteban, like his son.  In doing so she befriends her old transsexual friend Agrado and her friend Rosa, a nun working in a shelter who, it transpires, it pregnant with another child of Lola’s, and that both are HIV positive.  In addition, Manuela looks up the actress, Huma Roja, who she saw that fateful night in the very same play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, she once played Stella in herself many years previously.  She then befriends not only Roja but Roja’s heroin addicted co-star and lesbian lover Nina.  (more…)

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