Thursday, October 2, 2008

All About My Mother

Pedro Almodovar, 1999, Spain (7.8*)

Best Foreign Film (AA, BAA)
Almodovar's cinematic homage to women reaches new heights in this Oscar® winner, he even dedicates it to: "All women who play actresses, all women, and all those who want to be women", so aside from real women, the cast also includes some gender-benders. The film begins with people watching Bette Davis in All About Eve, so the connection to 50's dramas about women is made immediately by Almodovar.

It's a fictionalized account of the mother of a teenager who wants to be a screenwriter, a mother who once was an actress apparently, but nothing big. Her life connects with some real stage actresses (doing Tennessee Williams' "Streecar Named Desire"), and the stories of each individual is really what Almodovar's films are all about: the unique, creative people all around who inspire his films, especially women. The Argentinian actress, Cecelia Roth, who plays the mother, was riveting - soapy, yet sincere and believable. The music, I believe by Antonio Inglesias, is very good in all Almodovar's films, and it never intrudes on the scene.

One Oscar® and one of just five films (The Lives of Others, Babette's Feast, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Cinema Paradiso) to win both the U.S. and British academy awards for foreign language film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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