All about My Mother is an award-winning 1999 film written and directed by the Spanish Pedro Almodovar. The film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, transvestitism, sexual identity, gender, religion, faith, and existentialism, but always with his classical tragicomedy touch, the film presents these serious issues with an edge of dark humor.
Plot of the Movie:
All about My Mother is the story of Manuela, a single mother in Madrid. The film begins on the eve of her son Esteban's seventeenth birthday. They are watching the film All about Eve on television. Esteban comments that the Spanish translation of the title is incorrect. He begins writing a story about his mother, titling it All about my Mother. On the night of Esteban's birthday, Manuela takes him to see a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. After the show, they wait in the rain so that Esteban can ask the leading actress, Huma Rojo, for her autograph. While they wait, Esteban remarks that Nina Cruz, the actress who played Stella, really touched Manuela. Manuela tells him that she once played Stella in an amateur production, and that his father played Kowalski. Esteban uses this opportunity to tell Manuela that what he really wanted for his birthday was for her to tell him the story of his father, whom he believes to be dead. Reluctantly, Manuela agrees to tell him everything when they return home. At that moment, Huma Rojo exits the theater, but because of the rain gets directly into a car, without granting Esteban her auto graph. Undeterred, Esteban chases after her, and is hit and killed by an oncoming car. Filled with grief, Manuela leaves Madrid for Barcelona, where she hopes to find Esteban's father, a transvestite junkie named Lola.
Manuela nurses Rosa, but tells her that she has called her mother. Rosa says she wishes that she could be alone with Manuela, and that she wishes her baby could just belong to the two of them. She also plans to name the baby Esteban, after Manuela's son. When Rosa's mother comes over, Rosa asks her not to make the situation any harder than it already is. Mrs Sanz agrees that it is best for Rosa to stay at Manuela's apartment, and asks just to be kept up to date on her daughter's condition. She admits to Manuela that she does not understand Rosa, and asks if Manuela has children. Manuela tells her that she had a son who died. After Mrs Sanz leaves, Manuela really cries for the first time since coming to Barcelona. The production of A Streetcar Named Desire is now over, and Huma has been cast as the mother in Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding. She is shown rehearsing the scene in which the mother discusses finding her dead son's body and cleaning up and also tasting his blood, "because it was my blood". A bouquet of roses is delivered to Huma and Agrado. It is from Manuela, and the card explains that she has taken the baby and left Barcelona, in order to get away from Rosa's parents. Two years later she returns to attend an AIDS conference. She goes to the theater to see Huma and Agrado, and tells them that Rosa's mother has changed her attitude and is much more accepting now. Baby Esteban's health is also very good. Huma keeps a photo of Esteban on her mirror, which Lola gave to her before he died. Agrado tells Manuela that Nina has gotten married and had a baby. Huma leaves the dressing room for the start of the performance.
All About My Mother was widely regarded as Almodovar's finest and most mature film to date. It won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film and seven Goya Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Argentinean actress Cecilia Roth.
A theatrical stage adaptation of All about My Mother by playwright Samuel Adamson is to receive its world premiere at The Old Vic in London's West End in August 2007. This production marks the world's first English language adaptation of any of Almodovar's works, and has the personal support and approval of Pedro Almodovar. Music by the film's composer, Alberto Iglesias, has been incorporated into the stage production, with a Stage Score by Max and Ben Ringham. The Old Vic production runs from 25 August to 24 November 2007 and stars Diana Rigg, Lesley Manville, Mark Gatiss, Joanne Froggatt,Colin Morgan and Charlotte Randle.
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