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All About My Mother [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Cecilia Roth , Marisa Paredes , Pedro Almodóvar    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan, Penélope Cruz
  • Directors: Pedro Almodóvar
  • Writers: Pedro Almodóvar
  • Producers: Agustín Almodóvar, Michel Ruben
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 11 July 2000
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767847105
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,718 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



After her son is killed in an accident, Manuela (Cecilia Roth) leaves Madrid for her old haunts in Barcelona. She reconnects with an old friend, a pre-op transsexual prostitute named La Agrado (Antonia San Juan), who introduces her to Rosa (Penélope Cruz), a young nun who turns out to be pregnant. Meanwhile, Manuela becomes a personal assistant for Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes), an actress currently playing Blanche DuBois in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. All About My Mothertraces the delicate web of friendship and loss that binds these women together. The movie is dedicated to the actresses of the world, so it's not surprising that all the performances are superb. Roth in particular anchors All About My Mother with compassion and generosity. But fans of writer-director Pedro Almodóvar needn't fret--as always, Almodóvar's work undermines conventional notions of sexual identity and embraces all human possibilities with bright colours and melodramatic plotting. However,All About My Mother approaches its twists and turns with a broader emotional scope than most of Almodóvar's work; even the more extravagant aspects of the story are presented quietly, to allow the sadness of life to be as present as the irrepressible vitality of the characters. Almodóvar embraces pettiness, jealousy and grief as much as kindness, courage and outrageousness, and the movie is the richer for it. --Bret Fetzer


MAGNIFICENT...this is one you just don't want to end. -- -Empire

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the finest films I have seen in years. It combines genuine pathos with moments of tender humour. It is a very moving portrait of the sacrifice women are compelled to make for those they love. Superbly acted throughout, anyone not moved by this film for the entirety of its duration has a heart of stone (and that is from a cynic easily annoyed by mawkish tosh).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully profound 15 Mar 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen this film so many times that I can talk alongside them and I can't even speak Spanish! This is a moving film that appeals to even the hardest of critics and the hardest of souls. The whole Street Car Named Desire theme is perfect for the film and blends in beautifully...I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see a brilliantly directed film with great actors and beautiful scenery.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired and inspiring 2 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw All About My Mother late last summer, before the publicity, before the awards... but after my aunt, who disliked it, said it was boring, wouldn't recommend it, and wouldn't see it again. O dear! Before continuing with the review, I should point out that I'm not a huge Almodovar fan. I've liked some of his earlier films - "High Heels", "Women on the Verge..." - but hated (passionately) others - "Pepi Luci...". So it was with an open - but closing - mind that I entered the cinema.
The credits rolled, and I was instantly entranced. While the jury is out on whether this is his best film, it is easily Almodovar's most accessible, and for all of its incredulities (a nun who is both HIV+ and pregnant by a transvestite, for example) it's instantly believeable. The actors shine, though it would be hard not to, for Almodovar has delivered a well-written script with colourful, interesting, and rounded characters. And it is perhaps this which makes the film such a pleasure to watch. So often, and especially with American written/directed films, the characters are one dimensional - we don't care what happens to them, we aren't drawn into their world. With this film, and it has to be said with many of Almodovar's films, we aren't so much drawn into their world, as immersed in it.
Like in the (not so very) old days of cinema, we allow our imagination to work, to make leaps where things seem implausible, or where something seems to be too much of a coincidence. While there are no moments when we are on the edge of our seats, there are times when we shift uncomfortably, willing the scene to turn out the way we want it, but knowing that it won't.
Criticism (for there has to be some) of the film is superficial.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
To many, Pedro Almodovar is synonymous with a camp, trash worldview and is consequnetly posited alongside 'Eurotrash' and the films of Russ Meyer. Although 'All about My Mother' retains some of the outlandish traits of his earlier movies (significant characters include two transsexuals and a HIV positive pregnant nun, and his extravagant set and costume design remains undiminished), it marks a successful development of the more mature approach running through his recent movies, 'Flower of my Secret' and 'Live Flesh'.
The film contains many parallels with 'All about Eve' which Esteban (Eloy Azorin) and his mother, Manuela (Cecelia Roth), are watching in the opening scene. As a birthday present, Esteban is taken to a production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'. Echoing Bette Davis' character's contempt for her fans, the play's star, Huma (Marisa Parades), leaves the theatre without offering an autograph to Esteban who had been waiting patiently. Chasing after the taxi, he is fatally knocked over.
Earlier Esteban had intimated to Manuela that the best present he could receive would be hearing all about his father. In response to this final wish, she attempts to find Esteban Snr., discovering that he had a sex change and became Lola the Pioneer. Manuela gets a job as an assistant to Huma who is still haunted by Esteban's face. Huma is in love with her co-star, Nina (Candela Pena), a junkie. Another 'All about Eve' reference occurs when Nina's addiction prevents her from performing. Manuela (as with Anne Baxter's character) deputises. However, contrary to the Hollywood version of events, this does not result in stardom as, due to Nina's jealousy, Manuela resigns from her job.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The death by accident of a mother's much loved son compels her to go to Barcelona and inform the father, who doesn't even know of the boy's existence. Finding the father is not so easy and by going to Barcelona, the mother digs back into a world she had left behind in order to bring up her son. It is a sordid but colourful world with transvestite prostitutes, junkies, an AIDs riddled nun, divas, and the usual associates of one's past. Remember that this is Almodovar, not Ivory-Merchant. However, these people are not displayed as freaks, but portrayed sympathetically. Almodovar celebrates their lives. He does not pass judgement.
Like other Almodovar films, the complex story line shows the strains that pull apart and bring together relationships. The emotional lives of the characters are laid bare. While there may be melodrama, there is a strict avoidance of sentimentality. The acting is wonderful, especially Cecilia Roth, who for some reason reminds me of Hannah Gordon.
My only criticism is the use of coincidence. This is also a feature of other Almodovar's films; but here he stretches it a bit far. For instance, first the Cecilia Roth character steps in to take the part of an actress in a professional stage play, to great acclaim, and then when she leaves it, her transvestite friend, who as far as I know has never acted in his life, effortlessly takes over. This is a small criticism. "All About My Mother" is a splendid film by a great film maker. Without being a dreary feminist polemic, it is a celebration of women in all their roles: as mothers, as lovers, as carers; and to those who want to be women. Warmly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great buy
Excellent value, prompt delivery
Published 17 days ago by Steve C
5.0 out of 5 stars All About (Damaged) People
All About My Mother is one of those landmark films they could leave in a time capsule on the Moon, for "life out there" to find; on DVD, that would epitomise the 'state' and range... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by Tim Kidner
4.0 out of 5 stars All About My Mother
This is a thoroughly enjoyable film with off beat characters who are engaging and interesting. It's quite fast moving and if you let yourself drift for a few seconds you can miss... Read more
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by Moonlit
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, vibrant, brilliant!
I could never imagine myself sitting down watching and enjoying a film about prostitutes, transsexuals and an HIV positive nun, but this film with its unusual and eccentric array... Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2011 by Mountain Man
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT A WIDESCREEN DVD!
This DVD features the film in a 4:3 letterbox format resulting in a tiny picture at a horrible resolution! Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2011 by cinephile
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Almodovar film
My favorite Almodovar film to date. He finally combines the best of his older, absurdist films, with his new found maturity and real emotion that began to emerge in 'Flower of My... Read more
Published on 27 July 2010 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Roth and Almodovar shine in strong drama
After a tragic family crisis Manuela (Roth) escapes her current life by fleeing to Barcelona where she hopes to find her former lover and her son's father. Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2010 by Stampy
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar, this film looks at sexuality, HIV AIDS and the lives of people changed by death and the topics just mentioned. Read more
Published on 29 July 2009 by DL Productions UK
1.0 out of 5 stars Non-Anamorphic transfer ruins a brilliant film
Well, anyone visiting this page does not need to be told about Pedro Almodovar or "All about my Mother". Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2008 by Mohd Jafar
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Overrated
This has to be one of the most boring foreign language films I've seen in recent years. I wanted to turn it off after half an hour but persisted with it hoping it would get... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2008 by Hayze
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