I watched this movie earlier this evening and I can't help but think that Penelope Cruz is a fantastic actress, when she's in her own language. She's got this delicate yet strong as iron thing down, like a diamond snowflake (wow, that's really metaphorical for me). In this movie, she's a secondary character, but she's a nun, or a novice, who get pregnant, then finds out she has HIV. It's strange because when you see her in English, her accent is so think, she's hard to understand, but in Spanish, it's almost like she doesn't even have to have lines, she's just so good. Especially under the direction of Almodovar. The main character, Manuela is played by a woman named Cecilia Roth. She's just lost her son, and her history is revealed as she interacts with these new characters. This is the 4th movie by Almodovar I've seen in recent weeks, and I'm picking up a lot of similar themes. Transvestism, Religion, Strong women, sex, prostitution, organ donation (I'm not sure where this one comes in) all in a slice-of-life setting. This is the first film that I've seen, that actually feels finished: the others have felt as though they could have gone on just a little bit longer, like I wanted to know the characters just a little bit more. Their stories could have lasted just a bit longer. This one was different. It actually finished, and it somehow deals with slightly different themes. All About My Mother throws AIDS and HIV into the mix of transvestism and prostitution. It also brings other topics, like motherhood to the forefront, the way a mother interacts with her child.
It's a good movie, though I don't think it's as good as some of Almodovar's others. Watch Volver first.