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Penelope Cruz is absolutely incandescent in “Ma Ma” as she seems to be in most Spanish pictures she appears in with Spanish directors leading her, more so than any American movie she has made. Always a beauty, Cruz, now in her 40s, has added a special look that “Ma Ma” takes advantage of in every frame whether it is looking like an Audrey Hepburn twin with a gamin look or seeing her naked body before and after a mastectomy. Yes there is a screenplay written by Julio Medem, who also directed.
The story is what use to be known as a 3 hankie weeper and you might as well bring a tissue or two. She is the mother of a young boy, Teo Planell, who wants to be a soccer star and one day she meets a scout, Luis Tosar, who tells her that her son has talent. A few minutes later he hears by phone that his daughter and wife were in a car accident, that his daughter died and his wife was in a coma.
Oh yes let’s not forget she has a gynecologist, Asier Etxeandia, treating her for cancer who, by the way, sings. Add to that he and his wife are going to adopt a Russian orphan. By the way her husband, and father of her child, Alex Brendemuhl, is on summer vacation with one of his blond female students.
Forget the story and concentrate on Cruz with short hair, long hair, a wig, no hair, pregnant and swimming, her mastectomy scar after the operation or her full breasts before the operation, living in the real and an unreal world, in her garden with a red rose in her hair talking to an unborn child or any other scene she is in holding your eyes no matter what is going on screen.
“Ma Ma” is a showcase for Penelope Cruz’s many sides of beauty plus the ability to make a soap opera screenplay hold an audience’s attention for 110 minutes and even get a few tears from them.


Edited by Brave-Heart

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