All About My Mother Movie Review

Director Pedro Almodovar explains the relationship between tunnels and the main character of Manuela (Cecila Roth) in All About My Mother with the line: "Manuela runs away. She always runs away on a train, through endless tunnels."

Indeed, Manuela is always moving. With the untimely death of her son, Estoban, she moves to Barcelona to embark upon a search for Estoban's father. In Barcelona, she is constantly moving from one place to another, doing something or another for someone. Save a transsexual prostitute (Antonio San Juan) here, help a pregnant nun (Penelope Cruz) there. Help smooth out the turbulent lesbian relationship between two actresses (Marisa Paredes and Candela Pena) here, usher an older woman (Rosa Maria Sarda) into a great understanding of life there. She never stops.

It seems so odd, then, that the one thing that All About My Mother would have needed to be a really great film was a better pace.

All About My Mother is an interesting, somewhat surreal and oftentimes bizarre journey of self-discovery that comes during the search of Manuela for her transsexual ex-husband, Lola. Admittedly, it is one of more bizarre foreign films I have seen (although this is not a long list and Il Mostro was pretty trippy, too). However, All About My Mother does end up being an incredibly interesting film to watch.

Penned and directed by Pedro Almodovar, All About My Mother succeeds is doing several noteworthy things. The first of which is making critics laugh. I saw this at a Cleveland press-only screening with five other critics, and we all had at least a few moments where we unleashed our tongue to let loose a chuckle. The second of which is accomplishing what amounts to a nearly all-female cast. In the cast we have one supporting male, the boy who plays Estoban. The rest of the film is comprised of women, and thus it is like watching a Spanish version of the cafe scenes in "Sex and the City" for about an hour and three-quarters. The third and final thing is accomplishing a movie which deserves a second glance.

To fans of the surreal, who normally can handle subtitles, All About My Mother will be quite a treat. It is a film that is able to easily provide interesting imagery (a joint effort of the great directing on behalf Pedro Almodovar and the haunting photography of Affonso Beato), incredible dialogue, and at the same time make you ponder over it.

Despite these three major strengths, however, All About My Mother is lacking in one major element: pace. Certain movies can engage themselves upon thought alone. Others rely on action. Because All About My Mother has absolutely no action to it, it must rely entirely upon thought for pacing. The thought in All About My Mother is enough to fill perhaps a thirty-minute short. There is simply not enough pacing present to sustain this film.

All About My Mother has been voted the best foreign film of the year by several major critics circles. To say this about All About My Mother makes me wonder what the other foreign films were like this year. It's good. It gets a lukewarm recommendation. But its not that great.

Then again, that's the problem when you have to give a film points just for being foreign.

Aka Todo Sobre Mi Madre.

My Mother can beat up your mother.


Comments

All About My Mother Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1999

Editors Recommendations

Game Of Thrones Recap: "The Lion And The Rose" AKA The Purple Wedding

It’s been two days since Game of Thrones, so anyone not caught up should be responsible...

Game Of Thrones Recap:

Robin Roberts Offers Explanation For Secrecy Surrounding Female Partner

Robin Roberts only revealed that she was in a long-term relationship with a female...

Robin Roberts Offers Explanation For Secrecy Surrounding Female Partner

Brad Pitt And Director David Michod Adapting Stanley McChrystal's Story Into "The Operators" Film

Brad Pitt is keeping on with the theme of military films and, with the help of Animal Kingdom...

Brad Pitt And Director David Michod Adapting Stanley McChrystal's Story Into

Flavor Flav Pleads Guilty To Las Vegas Battery Case

The Public Enemy rapper wanted to take a plea deal to reduce the sentence over a charge...

Flavor Flav Pleads Guilty To Las Vegas Battery Case

Pharrell Williams Begins To Shed 'Happy' Tears During Oprah Winfrey Interview

Pharrell Williams is very emotional about the effect his music can have on people...

Pharrell Williams Begins To Shed 'Happy' Tears During Oprah Winfrey Interview

The Olivier Awards: Who Was Best Dressed On The Red Carpet?

The stars of stage were out last night for the Olivier Awards, honouring Britain’s top theatre talent...

The Olivier Awards: Who Was Best Dressed On The Red Carpet?

Childish Gambino Blasts Record Label On Twitter: "Someone Buy Me Out Of This Contract"

Childish Gambino, a.k.a Donald McKinley Glover, has received a fair amount of success...

Childish Gambino Blasts Record Label On Twitter:

'Joe': The Redemption Of Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is, without a doubt, one of the world’s greatest actors. There’s not many...

'Joe': The Redemption Of Nicolas Cage

Is FX's 'Fargo' TV Series The Next BIG Thing?

The TV series adaptation of the Coen brothers Oscar-winning movie Fargo has received...

Is FX's 'Fargo' TV Series The Next BIG Thing?


More recommendations