Y Tu Mama Tambien Nutshell Review
Director Alfonso Cuaron has only directed 7 feature films, but he has won 4 Oscars; an amazing feat. His last feature, Roma (2018), won him Oscars for Best Director & Best Cinematographer, while his 2014 release Gravity, won him Oscars for Direction & Editing. Clearly, he is a multitalented artist & his filmography offers a wide ranging title list that includes a remake of the classic children's story, A Little Princess (1995), Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and the social/sci-fi drama Children of Men (2006). For me, however, no film is better than his Oscar nominated (Best Screenplay) film Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mama Too), from 2001.
The story of the sexual & emotional awakening of 2 best friends & the older woman whose coming to terms with her own life, evolves on a road trip to find a magical beach called "the mouth of heaven." The film is simply shot by Cuaron & 3-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, with Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal starring as the 2 friends & Ana Lopez Mercado as the woman. The film deals with lust, love, emotional & physical betrayal & death, while mixing in a heathy dose of the Mexican class system of poor (peasant) versus rich (yuppie).
Ana (Lopez Mercado) is married to the cousin of Tenoch (Luna) & is coaxed to join the boys on a search for the perfect beach through her boredom & awareness that her husband is cheating on her. She is smart & well aware of the boys sexual intentions, but joins them as a means to escape her own life & the bad news she's just been given. Tenoch & Julio (Bernal) can't believe their good fortune, but when she sleeps with one, then the other, her sexuality forces the boys to become aware of their own relationship in ways they never dreamed. In what appears to be a complicated set up, the visual simplicity of the films forces the very personal, emotional & psychological feelings of the 3 to drive the story.
All three actors all fantastic, but Lopez Mercado shines in a performance of incredible depth. At night she cries herself to sleep, but uses her pain to open up her feelings and those of the boys. As she tells them, "life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea," in a poignant bit of reflection & foreshadowing. Y Tu Mama Tambien is an amazing piece of filmmaking, both enjoyable to watch & thought provoking without being cloying or in any way sentimental.