TOUT ON MY MOTHER is a movie-in short, a diary, an ode to the woman, a masterpiece.
Let’s start with the technical :
The mise-en-scene of ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (with that of’ Tie Me !) is the most successful of all the works of Almodóvar. Everything is almost perfect. Choice of frames, moods, aesthetic, photograph(s), what it takes to style effects to boost the story by the image. Photo, design, music are merging constantly, between them, as well as with the narration and the scenario ;
The narration, extremely worked, allows the script to distill his revelations sparingly. The ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER in the title is thus, an intelligent search of identity, all the more remarkable is that
the one who wants to know all about her mother, the narrator, Esteban, has been transferred to the spectator of the fact of his own death.
The scenario is thus consistent with the standards Almodovar-links (that I explained about In the Flesh );and That of ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER combines with fluidity and precision of a context (the theatre, Spain told on several social levels, the quest for identity) and the intended co-mingled with characters, various and deep.
It merges with the narration, and takes a true scale in the break-spatio-temporal history.
Several long films of Almodóvar address frontally (and brilliantly) behind the scenes. The film, in Tie me up !, the literature in The Flower of My Secret, and now the world of theatre in ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER.
Before going into the heart of the matter, one can observe the side fun of Almodóvar, who self-cite in replaying a scene from TheFlower of My Secret (this time, without cause doubt).
The director tells us, perhaps, that this new movie will explore the behind-the-scenes to explain the present, the past and the future of the characters. A behind-the-scenes as a theoretical theme, a way of giving the keys of his universe, his filmography, the character’s Almodovar behind the film director;
In sum, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER is the film with the most personal AND personalized Almodóvar… For the first time, one feels that the director really wants to talk to us about him. A sincerity that is in line with the other qualities of the film. The masterpiece of his filmography.
”ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER is a movie-in short, a diary, an ode to the woman, a masterpiece.”
To explain this assertion, I first have to talk about me.
This retrospective of Festival of Light has allowed me to evaluate a huge part of the work of Almodóvar ; to understand the developments of their film and to have a point of view encompassing on the director’s filmography, and therefore on the man behind the director, his obsessions, his tastes, the functioning, the meaning and the scope of his films.
I had already seen the film in 2001, and had hated it… Now I understand why. This work primarily functions as sum – this is what I explain from the beginning, and sees it as his major flaw. It will speak truly to those who understand and embrace the work of the director… The others will appreciate the obvious qualities of the film, but will have more difficulty in detecting the sincerity beneath the surface.
A diary, when Almodóvar deals with these topics “taboo” developed throughout his filmography. Of Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls of the neighborhood to high Heels , passing by The Law of Desire : sexual identity. Homosexuality, heterosexuality, cross-dressing, transgenderism, bisexuality… ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER allows the developer to address these issues in a quasi-exhaustive, without judgment or marginalization, as always. A beautiful speech, without being one, on the acceptance of differences, hers as those of others.
A diary because Almodóvar speaks to us also of him using a number of cultural references. All About Eve, Joseph Mankievitz, Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire), , Opening Night by John Cassavetes, for a decisive scene… In general, these films are memorable for their way of putting forward women.
In ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, Almodóvar develops, as in many of his films, the relation to the mother.
Of Flesh and Bone to what I’ve Done to Deserve it ? This report is very close, seems to be the origin of his obsession with WOMEN, and his talent for writing beautiful roles.
Here, four beautiful characters. Again, as a completeness of the feminine attributes the most strong. As a sum of all the women in all his films :
The “woman” versatile, that we can never tame, but that belongs to everyone ; Free, turned by instinct… Also the one who embraces the quest for sexual identity – Agrado (Antonia San Juan)
The strong woman, the one that succeeds, free also ; the pressure of celebrity has changed her perception of things… Set in spite of it, by his public image – Huma (Marisa Paredes)
The woman-mother, the one capable of everything for his son. (the ideal woman ? idealized ?) – Manuela (Cecilia Roth)
The woman-child, both naive and lucid, one who succumbs in spite of herself to the feelings, he must protect – Rosa (Penelope Cruz)
Four characters, magnificent, developed in all their complexity, through their contradictions. With passion, precision and sincerity.
In short, a masterpiece. Voila.
Pedro Almodóvar : Price Light 2014
Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls in the neighborhood of Pedro Almodóvar (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1980, 1h18)
That is what I have done to deserve this ? Pedro Almodóvar (¿ Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto !!, 1984, 1h47)
Matador by Pedro Almodóvar (1986, 1: 45)
The Law of desire by Pedro Almodóvar (La ley del deseo, 1987, 1h44)
Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown by Pedro Almodóvar (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1988, 1: 35:)
Home-me ! Pedro Almodóvar (Átame !, 1989, 1h41)
High heels by Pedro Almodóvar (Tacones lejanos, 1991, 1h53)
The Flower of my secret by Pedro Almodóvar (La flor de mi secreto, 1995, 1h42)
In the flesh by Pedro Almodóvar (Carne trémula, 1997, 1h39)
ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER by Pedro Almodóvar (Todo sobre mi madre, 1999, 1: 40)
Talk to her by Pedro Almodóvar (Hable con ella, 2002, 1h52)
Volver by Pedro Almodóvar (2006, 2h02)
La piel habito that of Pedro Almodóvar (2011, 2h01)
Almodóvar Producer : Before-first
New wild from Damián Szifrón (Relatos salvajes, 2014, 2h02)
For the programming of the Festival of Light 2014 : go HERE
• Original title : Todo Sobre Mi Madre
• Production : Pedro Almodóvar
• Screenplay : Pedro Almodóvar
• Main actors : Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Rosa María Sardá, Fernando Fernán Gómez,
• Country of origin : Spain France
• Released : may 19, 1999
• Duration : 1h41min
• Synopsis : Manuela, a nurse, lives alone with her son Esteban, a lover of literature. For the birthday of Manuela, Esteban invites him to the theater or they go to see “A streetcar named desire”. At the exit, Manuela tells her son that she has performed this piece in the face of his father in the role of Kowalsky. This is the first time that Esteban, upset, heard of his father. It is then that he is hit by a car. Pain-crazy, Manuela goes in search of the man she loved, the father of her son.*highlight the text to reveal an important detail on the timeline of the film.