013 - All About My Mother (1999)

Sometimes in life a film comes along where, when it finishes, you just don't know what to say. Well, I've just reached that moment.

...unfortunately, I've made it my job now so I'll make something up.

All About My Mother is, frankly, depressing. The movie follows Manuela, a mother whose child has been run over while he was hunting for his idol's autograph. Young Esteban dying is one of the most poignant scenes I have ever had the pleasure of watching. The way that director Pedro Almodóvar uses the camera in first person at the critical moment is a tribute to the fine directing throughout the whole film.

The story continues with Manuela hunting down her son's father, whose identity she had fought to conceal from him throughout his childhood. Her journey takes her to Barcelona - from where she'd fled during her pregnancy - where she meets a few other women whose stories are equally desolate.

Theatrical Poster
The film follows a set pace throughout, showing the highs and lows of all the women's lives, with some ending peacefully and other's ending as forlorn as at the start of the film. The plot is serene throughout broken with intelligent sections of humour from the brilliant transsexual character of Agrado (so called because she 'always tried to make everyones life more pleasant'). Her monologue in the centre of the film is a masterpiece of a soliloquy.

All About My Mother will touch every member of an audience, enabling them to empathise - or sympathise - with at least one of the characters.