What a wonderful film.
I definitely wasn’t ready for Pedro Almodóvar’s masterpiece All About My Mother on this, the morning Tuesday 16th August.
A clever young man watches Mankiewicz’ Magnum Opus All About Eve on his birthday with his mother. The lad’s irked by the film’s inaccurately translated Spanish title and he translates it himself, “all about my mother” he writes, instead. He’s old enough to want to know his father who’s been missing since before he was born and questions his mother but they agree to discuss after watching A Streetcar Named Desire in theatre for his little birthday treat.
After the show, the boy, Esteban, runs after the tired out thespian’s taxi and is killed by a car. The mother, Manuela (Cecilla Roth), who’s a hospital nurse specialising in posthumous organ donation, signs away his heart and other essentials and flees from their established home in Madrid to Barcelona to tell the father of the loss of their only son.
Already sounding particularly highly emotionally charged, isn’t it? The strong performances across the cast, the magnificent storyline and heart-breaking writing turn this tear-jerker up to 11 and it would be a sin to disclose any more of its secrets. Almodóvar’s oeuvre consists of many films predominantly around the lives of women. He focuses on their majesty, their foresight, the power of their emotion and the power they have in their own flawed, real, beautiful lives. Take this film, the story of a grieving mother being sucked into the already dramatic lives of others that nods back to great female performances from day’s gone by.. It’s refreshing and full of life. I couldn’t tear my eyes away, the character writing had me hooked through the heart with it’s inclusivity of all types of women and how they can all be special.
Absolutely a film that has to be seen to be believed; one woman’s unwilling journey into the depths of her human experience and the comparable horror felt by the strong, independent women around her.