All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre) is the latest
film from the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar, best known over
here for Tie Me Up!, Tie Me
Down! and Women on the Verge
of a Nervous Breakdown. I'd like to warn
my readers that to review this film I have to talk about the whole plot,
so if you don't want to know, stop reading now. There
is one big surprise but it happens only 10 minutes into the movie. This
is the story of a mother (Cecilia Roth) living in Madrid, whose teenage
son is killed in a traffic accident. This is the surprise only 10 minutes
into the movie. I was very surprised because it seemed the film was
going to be about the mother and her relationship with her son who was
writing about her in his notebook all the time. After the son meets his
demise, I thought it was going to be about the notebook and the things
the son wrote All About My Mother. But no, that wasn't it either.
Although the mother carries the notebook around obsessively wherever she
goes, only about two lines from it are ever revealed to us. Instead, the
grief stricken mother travels to Barcelona from whence she came, when pregnant
18 years before, to find the boy's father. Here, she meets up with
her best friend from the old days, La Agrado (Antonia San Juan). ``She"
is a prostitute and a transvestite if that is the right word. She has equipment
above and below the belt. Anyway, this isn't a Crying
Game situation. The boy's father, Lola, who also swings
from both sides of the plate, is missing so the mother becomes involved
in the lives of La Agrado's friends. Well, I won't give away any more.
There's a lot more plot developments. As you can see, I was dazed and confused
by the twists and turns of this film. This is a good thing! The performances
are excellent especially by Cecilia Roth who entranced me throughout the
film. If you aren't derailed by the strange twists of the plot and
even stranger characters, then you will enjoy this film. There's
a lot of dialogue and this film has subtitles so you have to make sure
you keep up with your reading!