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Almodovar's Greatest work! The pinnacle of Foregin Films.,
This review is from: All About My Mother [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A director has reached the top of his profession when he is referred to by one name alone (Ex: Spielberg, Coppola, and Scorcesse). Pedro Almodovar has reached that point in his career and his latest film, All About My Mother, has secured his place among the greatest directors of his generation; not only in his native Spain but also all over the world.
A splendid cast headed by Argentinean actress Cecilia Roth, legendary Spanish actress Marissa Paredes and younger stars Penelope Cruz and Candela Peña turns this film into the meeting of two era's of the Spanish cinema.
Manuela, a single young mother (Cecilia Roth) loses her son to an auto accident after seeing a production of A Street Car Named Desire starring Huma Rojo (Marissa Paredes) on his birthday.
Destroyed by the death of her son, Manuela travels from Madrid to Barcelona to find the boy's father and tell him that when she left him nearly two decades before she was pregnant with his child who was now dead.
Upon arriving in Barcelona, Manuela accidentally reunites with La Agrado (Antonia San Juan), a transsexual friend who she left behind when she fled from Barcelona so many years ago. La Agrado in turn introduces her to Sister Rosa (Penelope Cruz), a nun who becomes very close to Manuela. When Sister Rosa is taken ill it is Manuela who cares for her, and becomes somewhat her surrogate mother while still trying to deal with the loss of her own son.
While in Barcelona she goes to see A Streetcar Named Desire starring Huma Rojo, the actress who had left her son so impressed when they saw it Madrid. One thing leads to another and Manuela starts working as Huma's personal assistant, trying to keep her life in order and trying to keep Nina (Huma's Lesbian heroine addict lover) under control.
Add to the pot the birth of a baby, a funeral, AIDS, and a dear old man with Alzheimer's and you have one of the greatest Spanish language films ever made, portraying subjects that only American Directors like Quentin Tarantino may be brave enough to tackle.
The most Humorous scenes involve the transsexual La Agrado as she recalls her days of prostitution and the expenses of her cosmetic surgery.
Cecilia Roth's performance as Manuela is extraordinary and Penelope Cruz's portrayal of Sister Rosa makes it obvious as to why Vanity Fair chose her as one of the hottest youngest actresses of her generation.
I would be remiss and an out right idiot if I did not mention Marissa Paredes as Huma Rojo. Paredes is not a classic beauty but has the legendary quality and glamour that made Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, and Joan Crawford stars. When on the screen she steals the show.
Fans of Almodovar will be elated by his latest offering. I recommend the film if only for the scenery of Barcelona. Offering the best mix of Drama and Comedy, Almodovar has out done himself once again. It is easy to see why the film received Best film at The Cannes Film Festival as well as The Academy Award's Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Also by Almodovar I recommend High Heels (also with Marissa Paredes) and Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown.