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1999, Sony Pictures Classics, 101 min, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

The night a car ran over her son Esteban (Eloy Azorín), Manuela (Cecilia Roth) read the last lines written in a notebook that he always kept by his side; they were about the father he had never met. In memory of her son, Manuela leaves Madrid and goes to Barcelona in search of his father. She will have to tell him that, when she abandoned him 18 years earlier, she was pregnant, they had a son, and he has just died. She must also tell him that she named their son Esteban, like his biological father, before he changed his name to Lola (Toni Cantó). The search for a man with that name cannot be simple - and indeed it isn’t. Penélope Cruz costars in this Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar winner.

2006, Miramax, 97 min, UK, Dir: Stephen Frears

Combining the vicarious rewards of a detailed biopic with the gentler pleasures of an insightful character study, director Stephen Frears puts the monarchy under the microscope in this irreverent comedy-drama. Set in 1997, it details the bond of trust that slowly develops between the 71-year-old Queen Elizabeth – humanized by the Oscar-winning performance of Helen Mirren in the title role – and prime minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) following the death of Princess Diana. With James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms.

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