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All About My Mother (Widescreen)

Cecilia Roth , Marisa Paredes , Pedro Almodóvar    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
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All About My Mother (Widescreen) + Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Sous-titres français) + Volver (Bilingual)
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After her son is killed in an accident, Manuela (Cecilia Roth) leaves Madrid for her old haunts in Barcelona. She reconnects with an old friend, a pre-op transsexual prostitute named La Agrado (Antonia San Juan), who introduces her to Rosa (Penélope Cruz), a young nun who turns out to be pregnant. Meanwhile, Manuela becomes a personal assistant for Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes), an actress currently playing Blanche DuBois in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. All About My Mother traces the delicate web of friendship and loss that binds these women together. The movie is dedicated to the actresses of the world, so it's not surprising that all the performances are superb. Roth in particular anchors All About My Mother with compassion and generosity. But fans of writer-director Pedro Almodóvar needn't fret--as always, Almodóvar's work undermines conventional notions of sexual identity and embraces all human possibilities with bright colors and melodramatic plotting. However, All About My Mother approaches its twists and turns with a broader emotional scope than most of Almodóvar's work; even the more extravagant aspects of the story are presented quietly, to allow the sadness of life to be as present as the irrepressible vitality of the characters. Almodóvar embraces pettiness, jealousy, and grief as much as kindness, courage, and outrageousness, and the movie is the richer for it. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movie June 5 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Peter Almodovar is one of my favorite film director, All about my mother is - in my opinion - one of his top movies.
The story is interesting, excellent set up in spanich major cities, superb acting...There are not many movies I want to see for the second or third time; I can watch this movie many times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES FOR A TWISTED PLOT. Aug. 14 2000
Another excellent masterpiece by the one an only Almodovar, this film is quite darker than his previous movies. However, the twisted plot is there as always, as well as the unexpected ending and wonderful acting. Cecilia Roth does a great performance as the dramatic Manuela, who loses her only son to a car accident while chasing after the theater star "Huma Rojo", played by Marisa Paredes, whose glamour and beauty make her ideal for this role. However, the real star is Antonia San Juan, who literally steals the show whenever she is on screen. Her character lightens up the somewhat sad story with her witty remarks and "perverse" naivete. Also Penelope Cruz makes a great performance of "Rosa", a nun who gets pregnant by another prostitute who happens to also be the father of Manuela's child. However, the fact of her wanting to travel to El Salvador to help in the war is quite inaccurate, as the war in that country has been over for ten years now, unless the story was supposed to take place in the 80's but who knows, they never clarify that. Overall, it's a great movie and a "must see", not suitable for the closed minded, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible March 15 2004
Probably my favourite film of all time!
Almodovar does it every time without fail.
He creates stories using characters that would be unsympathetically portrayed by other directors, yet he creates empathy within you even for the most screwed up them.
In this story, dealing with the love a mother has for her son, and her tragic loss when he dies, you meet prostitutes, transsexuals, transvestites and nuns with HIV!
Sounds ridiculous, but the director is a genius.
It's worth noting that this film won an Oscar for Best International Movie.
A truly moving, emotional, funny and thought provoking story, with colourful characters and told with genuine warmth.
I defy anyone not to be moved...
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Almodovar film April 6 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
My favorite Almodovar film to this date. He finally combines the best of his older, absurdist films, with his new found
maturity and real emotion that began to emerge in 'Flower of My Secret' and 'Live Flesh'.

A woman's son dies, while trying to get an autograph from a great actress, leaving his mother bereft, and trying to
start a new life. I won't give away any details, but her journey is both funny and tragic, and leads to some terrifically
unexpected and sometimes ironic places. Full of odd and wonderful characters, and some very strong acting. A bit
cute or 'forced' in a few moments, but overall a moving, special and wonderful film. If you don't know Almodovar's
work, this is an excellent place to start.
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The death by accident of a mother's much loved son compels her to go to Barcelona and inform the father, who doesn't even know of the boy's existence. Finding the father is not so easy and by going to Barcelona, the mother digs back into a world she had left behind in order to bring up her son. It is a sordid but colourful world with transvestite prostitutes, junkies, an AIDs riddled nun, divas, and the usual associates of one's past. Remember that this is Almodovar, not Ivory-Merchant. However, these people are not displayed as freaks, but portrayed sympathetically. Almodovar celebrates their lives. He does not pass judgement.
Like other Almodovar films, the complex story line shows the strains that pull apart and bring together relationships. The emotional lives of the characters are laid bare. While there may be melodrama, there is a strict avoidance of sentimentality. The acting is wonderful, especially Cecilia Roth, who for some reason reminds me of the British actress, Hannah Gordon.
My only criticism is the use of coincidence. This is also a feature of other Almodovar's films; but here he stretches it a bit far. For instance, first the Cecilia Roth character steps in to take the part of an actress in a professional stage play, to great acclaim, and then when she leaves it, her transvestite friend, who as far as I know has never acted in his life, effortlessly takes over. This is a small criticism. "All About My Mother" is a splendid film by a great film maker. Without being a dreary feminist polemic, it is a celebration of women in all their roles: as mothers, as lovers, as carers; and to those who want to be women. Warmly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars parents were people long before they ever had you March 15 2004
By momazon
The title character here --- the man behind the "my" in "All About My Mother" -- actually dies in the beginning of the film, on his 18th birthday, right after he asks his single mother to finally tell him about his father. She never has, and he dies without the knowledge.
Greatly aggrieved, she decides to fulfill his wish post-humously. She takes the train from Madrid to Barcelona -- from where she ran away when pregnant and had never returned. It turns out that she used to appear in a theater group's rendition of "A Streetcar Named Desire". She finds the theater that features the same play (in fact, she and her son had seen the same traveling theater group in Madrid the night he died.) She takes a job there and makes friends with the two lesbian stars of the play. She also reconnects with her friends from her past life, althogh not all --- Lola is conspicuously missing, and everyone wonders where she is.
Catch Penelope Cruz well-cast in a spectacularly understated role as Sister Rosa, a pregnant nun. She is excellent!
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars All about What??
The actresses are good. The subject/hidden feeling as explored are also good. However can't the director work out a better, compelling plot line, a reasonable/believable touching... Read more
Published on May 24 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth is beyond any preset limits
You must be Spanish today to be able to produce such a film entirely dedicated to the concept of the « son ». Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by Jacques COULARDEAU
4.0 out of 5 stars "I went after my son's heart"
Watching ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER is a strange journey; just when you think it went off on a tangent, it pulls the viewer back in with authentic and convincing emotional portrayals of... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by S. Calhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars great dvd edition of another fine Almodovar film
Manuela has just lost her son in a traffic accident and travels to Barcelone to look up old friends, including the transvestite who abandoned her 18 years ago never knowing she was... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by audrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential to the true film fanatic
"All About My Mother" eschews the trite little star-studded pap that passes for drama in Hollywood these days, and carries with it a tremendous pedigree: masterful acting... Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2003 by Greekfreak
5.0 out of 5 stars /////////////
The problem with too many "dramas" is that they constantly fall into straightjackets like "tearjerker" or "realist", loaded with terrible amounts of... Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2003 by fat_runner
5.0 out of 5 stars All About Las Mujeres....
I bought this dvd recently at a discount as a previously viewed item. I've always enjoyed Pedro Almodovar's work, especially my favorite, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2003 by Daryl B
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I loved this movie. Almodovar is very talented at making a movie interesting and a little bit quirky, but very emotionally impacting. Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by J. Jones
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