Category: Spain

All about my mother

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All About My Mother (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, Spain 1999

Director:Pedro Almod髒ar

My rating: 3

Key actors/actresses:
Cecilia Roth .... Manuela
Marisa Paredes .... Huma Rojo
Candela Pe馻 .... Nina

Also known as Todo sobre mi madre.
A single mother in Madrid sees her only son die on his 17th birthday as he runs to seek an actress's autograph. She goes to Barcelona to find the lad's father, a transvestite named Lola who does not know he has a child. First she finds her friend, Agrado, also a transvestite; through him she meets Rosa, a young nun bound for El Salvador, and by happenstance, becomes the personal assistant of Huma Rojo, the actress her son admired. She helps Huma manage Nina, the co-star and Huma's lover, and she becomes Rosa's caretaker during a dicey pregnancy. With echoes of Lorca, "All About Eve," and "Streetcar Named Desire," the mothers (and fathers and actors) live out grief, love, and friendship.

My review:
The director is known for making bizare movies and this one is supposed to be a milder piece of his works. It features unusual characters that we don't normally encounter, in this case a transvestite Lola who doesn't know he has a son. Lola also seduces a nun. Are this events so extraordinary that we shout "shocking!"? Or are we too ignorant or even turn a blind eye on things that actually happen everyday on earth? Just imagine in a place where famine is a daily phenomena, than having food is extraordinary then. What about clean drinking water? What about political freedom? Bizare or not, normal or unusual, it's all a matter of prospective.

Talk to her - Hable con ella, Drama Romantic, Spain 2002

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Talk to Her (Hable con Ella) (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama Romantic, Spain 2002

Director:Pedro Almod?var

My rating: 4

Key actors/actresses:
Javier C?mara .... Benigno Mart?n
Dar?o Grandinetti .... Marco Zuluaga
Leonor Watling .... Alicia
Rosario Flores .... Lydia Gonz?lez

Benigno works in a hospital as a nurse to take care of patients who are in deep coma. He is particularly tentative and gentle to one of the the patients, Alicia. He speaks to her everyday, telling her everything that he does, every drama that he watches, treating her as if she is responsive. They have had brief encounter shortly before Alicia's accident that render her into a coma state. One day a new patient is admited to the hospital, a female bull fighter Lydia who got run over by a bull during a fight. Her boyfriend Marco, a writer on world travel quickly becomes a good friend of Benigno who share a similar situation. Alicia was later found raped and pregnant and Benigno is the number one suspect...

My review:
Director Pedro is known to make movies of highly controversial characters. His previous work such as "All about my mother" and now "Talk to her" both confirm that.

What is love when it is only one way? Is it love just to physically take care of one another? Is Benigno's love for Alicia pure or obsession? I believe love is a mutual feeling, Benigno may argue that his act was pure and all good intention, but it was highly selfish, he was only thinking of his own interest and not Alicia's best interest. That could not have been love.

Bad Education (La mala educacion)

Posted by Ryoko

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Bad Education (Original Uncut NC-17 Edition) (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, Spain 2004

Director:Pedro Almodovar

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Gael Garcia Bernal: Angel/Juan/Zahara
Fele Martinez: Enrique Goded
Javier Camara: Paquito
Daniel Gimenez Cacho: Father Manolo
Lluis Homar: Berenguer

Ignacio and Enrique were students at a religious school and they loved each other. Father Manolo, director of the school and its professor of literature, disturbed their love because Ignacio was the very special student for him.
After the next few decades, Enrique got famed as a movie director. One day Ignacio came to his office suddenly. Enrique was surprised at this visit, however, he felt something incongruous and could not believe the man was Ignacio.
Each life of Ignacio, Enrique, and Father Manolo was changed and destined unexpectedly by the reunion.

My review:
After my friend and I watched this film at a theater last year, we got excited with this screenplay and the acting by Gael Garcia Bernal: we kept talking about this movie at a cafe until nearly midnight at that time.
It was hard to predict (read ahead) how this story would be going on while I was watching this movie. Gael played 3 characters, and one of them was a drag queen (Zahara). When he was singing `Quizas,quizas,quizas'as Zahara, he looked decadent but mysterious and fascinating to me. Surely his performance was GREAT. I don?t know any other young and good-looking players in Japan (at least) that can act great like Gael did.
Here is my rating: story = 4 stars, acting = 4 stars (nearly 5stars), direction = 5 stars, visual = 4 stars, and my conclusion in total = 5 stars.

Old Leglessbird Movie guide

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