Thursday, June 20, 2013

Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother) (1999)

Ugh, what utter melodramatic crapola this was.  A single mother, Manuela, returns to Barcelona after her son dies in an accident.  Her friends are all transvestites.  We soon find out her ex-husband was also a transvestite and that's the reason she left.  She ran away to Madrid when she became pregnant and told no one goodbye.

So after her son, Esteban, dies, she goes back to Barcelona and meets up with Agrado, her friend who acts like they had not spent one day apart.  They meet a nun, who turns out to be pregnant. The father is none other than Manuela's transvestite ex-husband! Now, his name is Lola, but his given name is Esteban (like his son).  Lola has HIV so Manuela, who used to work in a hospital, insists the nun get tested.  Of course, she is positive so that doesn't bode well for herself or the baby. The nun moves in with her because she can't stand her mother, and this presents an awkward situation.

Now for the whole side story of A Streetcar Named Desire.  This means a lot to Manuela, but you don't have to have read or watched the play to understand this movie.  She helps out two actresses a lot, and they become friends.

The nun has her baby and then dies, because this movie isn't about her, it's about Manuela.  Manuela takes and raises the baby boy as her own, as a replacement for her own dead son.  Take a wild guess what the baby's name is.  That's right, it's Esteban!  Oh, and another thing, he cures himself of his HIV in less than three years.  That seems like a fairytale ending in 1999.  However, there was a very recent case of a doctor curing a young child born with AIDS.  So, it is possible, but maybe not fourteen years ago.  Manuela, having a new healthy son and lots of friends now lives in Madrid again, but visits her friends in Barcelona. So everyone lives happy ever after.  Except her older son who is dead.

I know the theme of the movie is healing after someone dies.  Like her son, she touches many lives after his death.  His organs go to save many people, while she also helps people in her own way.  This movie is so melodramatic I want to barf. I will give it a generous 5/10.

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