'All About My Mother': Pedro Almodóvar's Deeply Humanistic Tale of Melancholy and Rejuvenation
"All About My Mother" ("Todo Sobre Mi Madre") (1999) is an impassioned and deeply humanistic Spanish drama starring Cecilia Roth as Manuela, an Argentine nurse residing in Madrid where she works as a donor organ manager. A single mother to teenage Esteban (Eloy Azorín), Manuela is devastated by her son's tragic death—hit by a car while chasing actress Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes) for her autograph.
Galvanized by Esteban's passing, Manuela sets off for Barcelona in search of his long-lost father, a transgender woman now known as Lola (Toni Cantó). Manuela's subsequent immersion into Lola's world, including her burgeoning friendship with an HIV-positive nun named Rosa (Penélope Cruz) who carries Lola's unborn child, becomes the schema for an enthralling tale of melancholy, compassion and rejuvenation.
Written and directed by eminent Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar ("Talk to Her", "Pain and Glory"), "All About My Mother" is a capstone display of melodramatic storytelling and thought-provoking narrative formation. Unapologetically audacious and deeply satisfying on an emotional level, it's one of Almodóvar's finest accomplishments—on par with the very best of his illustrious career.
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