Starring Cecilia Roth, Marisa Parides and Penelope Cruz
Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar
Production year 1999
Running time 104 minutes
Pedro Almodovar is the foremost Spanish filmmaker alive and working today. Like Luis Bunuel before him his work is vivid, sometimes surreal, often vulgar and always intensely rooted in the culture of Spain.
Growing up in a poor family under Franco's fascist regime he worked at a telephone company for 12 years before making his first feature Pepi, Luci, Bom aged 31. A series of provocative, mischievous and controversial films followed culminating with his first major hit Women On the Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown in 1988. This established him as a director of international renown and Almodovar went on to make a string of critical and box office hits including Live Flesh, High Heels and Bad Education.
All About My Mother tells the tangled and melodramatic tale of Manuela, a nurse who goes on a journey of discovery following the death of her teenage son in a car accident. Her story is blackly comic, engaging and at times deeply moving with a cast of extraordinary characters whose lives interconnect in the most surprising ways. It was a career high point for Almodovar, demonstrating a depth and maturity lacking in his earlier films and winning a clutch of major awards including the BAFTA and the Oscar for best foreign language film.
The distinguished critic Philip French, writing in The Observer, called All About My Mother the last great film of the 20th century, adding that it 'sees Almodovar at his best ingeniously intertwining the plots and themes of All About Eve and A Streetcar Named Desire.'