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Single mother Manuela (Cecilia Roth) takes her seventeen-year-old son, Esteban, to see a stage performance of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' as a birthday treat. Tragically, Esteban is killed when he chases after a taxi carrying his favourite actress, Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes). Consumed with guilt, Manuela decides to go in search of Esteban's father, whose identity she never revealed to her son. She finds out that he has had a sex change and is now called Lola the Pioneer, and along the way meets various characters, including transvestite La Agrado (Antonia San Juan) and AIDS-infected nun Sister Rosa (Penelope Cruz), who help her with a painful journey of self-discovery. (Pathé Distribution UK)

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Reviews (6)

novoten 

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English This time around, Pedro Almodóvar this time missed the complexities of the human soul, and for quite a while, it bothered me that I couldn't find even a slightly ordinary character apart from the main character that the viewer could identify with. I got lost in the first hour and was painfully bored in the flood of prostitutes, transsexuals, and women with insurmountable prejudices. That's why I was even more surprised by the final catharsis, which has significant power and saves what can be saved. However, as a whole, it simply doesn't gel at all, no matter how much I would have wished for the opposite due to the popularity of the film. ()

NinadeL 

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English Pedro Almodóvar doesn't become a director I love this time around either, but thanks to the Prague City theaters' production, I'm somewhat more comfortable with the Oscar-winning phenomenon All About My Mother. It really helped me to see both Penélope Cruz and Evellyn Pacoláková in the same role, because only in this way could Hermana Rosa become a real character in my eyes and not just a variation of a familiar face. And I could go on. All About Eve is better in the theatrical version, but the transvestite Agrado is obviously better in the film, because what Vladimir Marek does on the stage is a disaster. All in all, I'll try a few more things from the Almodóvar/Cruz collection, but I think we're done. His world exists on the completely opposite side of cinema from the one in which I exist. On paper, the story must have looked great - all the coincidences, transvestites, intersections with art, and cheeky one-liners - but in its final form, it's just about improbable situations, cinematic coincidences, and glycerine tears. ()

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kaylin 

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English What must be acknowledged about Almodóvar is his ability to see deeply into people; he excellently portrays characters who might otherwise bother the viewer. And I think some of those characters might indeed bother people, but those are just prejudices after all. All About My Mother is a film about how life can be shitty, but there are still moments you wouldn't trade for anything. It's a story about how life isn't always beautiful, but that doesn't mean it's only ever ugly. It's up to us how we handle it and what we focus on, whether it's the past or the present. A beautiful film, but I'm sure it won't suit everyone. ()

gudaulin 

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English Almodóvar has already received 4 stars from me in the past, and it would be interesting to compare these titles with the film All About My Mother, during which I started to have enough of Almodóvar and his film style. Filmmaking is undoubtedly in his blood, but what can you do when his film contains a lot of melodramatic twists, like from a cheap Latin American soap opera? It is theatrical, and the characters and their actions are as if from another planet. I am not such a puritan that I mind transvestites, homosexuals, and prostitutes, but other characters in Almodóvar's world hardly ever get in. Moreover, how he builds their relationships is very forced. Two women who have never seen each other before share very intimate and crucial information at their first meeting, which a person would probably prefer to keep secret and only confide in a very close and trustworthy person. I can't help it, but as cultured as Almodóvar is in revealing his sexual desires compared to, let's say, Pasolini, his desires and his entire world exhaust me, so I'm done with it. Overall impression: 45%. ()

lamps 

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English I got bored. Even though I was well aware of the acclaimed and positively reviewed film I was watching, even though I expected it to be slightly "different" than what I'm used to with the vast majority of today's productions, and even though I tried hard to keep up with the story and relate to the unusual heroines, the boredom weighed on me just as much as the indifference to almost everything those ladies had to go through. Almodóvar is undoubtedly a talented filmmaker and deserves admiration for his courage to bring emotion to the ranks of transvestites and prostitutes, but most of the time I was aware that we had sadly missed each other and even the seductive gaze of Penélope Cruz was not enough to bring us together. Maybe next time... :) 70% ()

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