Monday, February 14, 2011

30 Days of Oscar: Day 18 - Y Tu Mama Tambien

Movie: Y Tu Mama Tambien
Year: 2003
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay (Carlos and Alfonso Cuaron)
Wins/Snubs:  Talk to Her won this year, and I've never seen it, so I can't comment as to it's worthiness, but for originality, Y Tu Mama Tambien was pretty high up there.  I'm surprised it wasn't Mexico's entry for Foreign film (that went to The Crime of Father Amaro, but I also don't know all the rules about foreign film nominations or entrants requirements).

I'd heard great things about this movie, and a great friend owned it so I caught it just in time for today's post.  Also, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal have both built themselves pretty good careers (small roles for Luna in Milk, The Terminal, and larger roles for Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries, Babel, and Letters to Juliet) so I kind of wanted to see their start.  I can see why this movie got its writing nomination and I think it might have won had it been nominated for Foreign Film (Nowhere in Africa - which I love - did win that year).

Luna and Bernal are just finishing high school.  They're total sex-crazed, adore their girlfriends, but really just want to talk and think about sex.  When their girlfriends go away on a trip, they get drunk, smoke drugs, and whack off.  They meet the wife of a cousin at a wedding.  When the 20-something wife, Luisa, decides to leave her husband, she joins the boys on a pretend road trip they invited her on.  Traveling to the beach in Mexico, they talk about sex, laugh about sex, and basically just have a great time being young.  It's a terrific road trip movie coupled with a great teenage sex comedy/coming of age story.  Set against the backdrop of political change in Mexico, and told with terrific voice-over moments, this is one of the best foreign films I've ever seen.  The voice-overs are done by an all-knowing narrator who fills you in on other extraneous but interesting bits of the lives of the characters or the places they're passing through.  Lots of sex, and I can see why it had trouble getting a rating in the US, but a really great story.  


Andy the Time Lord said...

Sex, sex, and more sex? Okay, I'm convinced. Added to Netflix Que!

Seriously, heard great things about it. Glad to hear you think the same. Now lookin' forward to it.

Jess said...

Yeah, Andy not one to see with your parents for the first.

The Mad Hatter said...

Congratulations, you've just found the year where Oscar made the most glorious mess of Best Foreign Film. Other top tier films left sitting on the sidelines included CITY OF GOD, FAST RUNNER, TALK TO HER, and SPIRITED AWAY.

It's a category with some tough guidelines, so don't get me started.

I've long loved this road movie, and all the self realization that it came with. It's almost as if everything they've done in their life up until now has sent them down this path. If you want to build yourself a double-feature, I suggest now tracking down JULES & JIM.

PS - TALK TO HER is in my all-time top twenty films. Believe me: It's worthy.

Jess said...

I didn't really doubt Talk to Her was a terrific film - it smacked me in the face when I realized I hadn't seen it.

What an odd year for foreign film...