A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does not hold true for Manuela. The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela cried until her eyes ran completely dry. Far from seeing clearly, the present and the future become mixed up in darkness. That same night, while waiting in the hospital, she reads the last lines written by her son in a notebook that he always kept by his side. "This morning I looked through my mother’s bedroom until I found a stack of photographs. All of them were cut in half. My father, I suppose. I have the impression that my life is missing that same half. I want to meet him, I don’t care who he is, or how he treated my mother. No one can take that right away from me." Cecilia Roth as Manuela and Eloy Azorin as EstebanShe never told Esteban who he was, "your father died long before you were born" was all she ever told him. In memory of her son, Manuela leaves Madrid and goes to Barcelona in search of his father. She wants to tell him that their son's last written words were directed to him, even though he never knew his father. But first she has to tell him that, when she abandoned him eighteen years ago, she was pregnant, they had a son, and he has just died. She must also tell him that she named their son Esteban, like his biological father, before he changed his name to Lola. Lola the Pioneer. Manuela goes to Barcelona in search of Lola, her son’s father. The search for a man with that name cannot be simple. And indeed it isn’t. (official distributor synopsis)


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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. ()


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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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English Theatrically twisted, unfettered melodramatic and precipitously colorful... Almodóvar talking about life being like playing a role, a mother, a woman, a man – an intelligent and consistent unit with characteristically supple personal stamp (how much the music of Albert Iglesias means to a Spaniard!). A queer film, but one that does not close itself off to the majority whatsoever. Personally, I don’t know what to think about the comedic stylization in certain parts. It seems to me that out of the hypersensitivity of maternal vicissitudes, Almodóvar dipped into Broken Embraces. His self-reflexive mask of an intellectual is probably a tiny bit closer to me than the pastel softness All About My Mother. ()


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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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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. ()

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