all about my mother

This film by Pedro Almodovar’s won the Golden Globe for best foreign film, and won the Academy Award for best foreign film. Regardless, it’s an excellent film about the relationships between unrelated women (and former men) who make their own family. In true Almodovar style, the colors are bright and garish, the dialogue is tongue-in-cheek, yet the subjects are weighty. AIDs, prostitution, organ donation, and plastic surgery are all tackled without the usual melodrama. Highly recommended. In Spanish with subtitles. [spain, 1999]

women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

In this delicious screwball comedy, four women struggle with sex, unfaithful men, police, and terrorists. Pepa, a popular television star, is ending a relationship with a suave but philandering co-star–the catch is, she’s pregnant. Add to this problem the fact that her best friend has mistakenly been harbouring Shiite terrorists, and confusion ensues. True to form in this Almodovar film, women who may start out as rivals (for example Pepa and her lover’s insane wife) end up helping each other to a relatively happy ending. It’s the ridiculous details–like the fully equipped cabbie–that make this film a treat. [spain, 1988]