Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The reviews are out!

The reviews for the stage adaptation of All about my mother at the Old Vic are in the papers today.

The Times says "Samuel Adamson’s adaptation of Todo sobre Mi Madre can’t be and isn’t a wholly satisfactory substitute for the original film. Yet you soon overlook such minor irritants as the bustling scene shifters or the falling curtain that allows them to whizz about the furniture while gratuitous monologues occur at the front of the stage. And, yes, you’re absorbed in Tom Cairns’s production, which sticks to the basic story, adding little of importance except the intermittent appearance of the eager, watchful ghost of the young man whose death starts the proceedings."

The Guardian is less happy with it "The result is a sincere attempt to re-invent a great movie. But who would want a copy, however well done, when they can have the original?"

The Evening Standard says it is "an adaptation that improves upon the famous original" but reckons there are "fussy scene changes and film projections".

I actually loved the scene changes, as they leave you time to breathe and the music of Alberto Iglesias (from the movie) draws you even more into the world of the play. Acting-wise, it was great. I had trouble adapting to Mark Gatiss's Agrado. The accent was weird, but it really improved in the second act, and his last monologue was very very moving. The most famous sentence from the movie, "Una mujer es mas autentica cuanto mas se parece a lo que ha sonado de si misma", was told in Spanish.

The appearance of the ghost of the son after his death worked well for me too. As he reappears, the son becomes the writer he wanted to be, and I think in some cases he expresses the words of Almodovar, the writer. The girl who plays the nun (played by Penelope Cruz in the movie) is ok but her Spanish accent when she says "Mama" or "Papa" is very very bad. It actually sounds italian! (she stresses the first syllable instead of the second one) OK, it's a detail...

Lesley Manville and Diana Rigg are great. Incorporating Lorca's Blood Wedding at the end is a brilliant idea too. I was very moved, and was 'floating' for a while afterwards, and had to wait a little before I could discuss the show with my boyfriend. Bref, it's not the movie, but we knew that, it's a play. Does it work as a play? Absolutely.

In other areas, David Duchovny, the Mulder from X Files, the TV show I religiously watched as a kid, ha signed up for a second X Files movie along with Gillian Anderson, who played Scully, and Chris Carter, the creator of the show.

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