Broken Embraces (2009)
"Los abrazos rotos" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  15 January 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 29,851 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 85 user | 225 critic | 32 from

Harry Caine, a blind writer, reaches this moment in time when he has to heal his wounds from 14 years back. He was then still known by his real name, Mateo Blanco, and directing his last movie.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chus Lampreave ...
Kiti Mánver ...


Passion, obsession, wealth, jealousy, family, guilt, and creativity. In Madrid, Harry Caine is a blind screenwriter, assisted by Judit and her son Diego. The past comes rushing in when Harry learns of the death of Ernesto Martel, a wealthy businessman, and Ernesto's son pays Harry a visit. In a series of flashbacks to the 1990s, we see Harry, who was then Mateo Blanco, a director; he falls in love with Ernesto's mistress, Lena, and casts her in a film, which Ernesto finances. Ernesto is jealous and obsessive, sending his son to film the making of the movie, to follow Lena and Mateo, and to give him the daily footage. Judit doesn't like Lena. It's a collision course. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broken Embraces  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£296,048 (UK) (28 August 2009)


$5,009,119 (USA) (21 May 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The director revealed in an interview that the character played by Carmen Machi was inspired by his real-life friend, Blanca Sánchez, who, in the 1980s, had a relationship with a man who unbeknownst to her was a member of the Basque separatist group E.T.A. Sanchez was also used as the inspiration for the character Candela played by María Barranco in Pedro Almodóvar's breakthrough hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). See more »


During the 1994 storyline, after Mateo is released from the hospital Judit drops him off at the beach with her son Diego. As they exit the vehicle a crew member can be seen reflected in the rear panel of the car. See more »


[first lines]
[in Spanish, quoting English subtitles]
Modelo: What's your name?
Mateo Blanco: Harry Caine.
Mateo Blanco: I used to be called Mateo and I was a film director. I was always tempted by the idea of being someone else, as well as myself. Living one's life wasn't enough, so I invented a pseudonym, Harry Caine, an adventurer who, as fate would have it, became a writer. I had him sign all the scripts and stories I wrote. For years, Mateo Blanco and Harry Caine shared the same body, mine. But a moment came when ...
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Featured in The Culture Show: Episode #11.7 (2009) See more »


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Written by Uffie and Feadz
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User Reviews

even minor Almodovar is worth a look-see
18 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pedro Almodovar's latest, "Broken Embraces," is like a high-class telenovela for the art-house crowd.

Its love triangle - involving a film director (Lluis Homar), his gorgeous lead actress (Penelope Cruz) and her elderly, abusive boyfriend (Jose Luis Gomez) who's financing the film on which they're working - spans the period from 1994 to 2008. In the present time, the financier, Ernesto Martel, has just died, while the director, Mateo Blanco, who has since become blind, has plans for writing another film. But what's become of Lena, the girl of both of their dreams, in the intervening years?

Structurally, the movie divides its focus fairly evenly between the two time periods. The intricately plotted narrative unravels like a conventional mystery story, with clues being dropped in at key moments and character connections and motivations becoming ever more clearly defined as the movie goes on.

This isn't prime Almodovar, by any means, but the customary florid melodrama, color-rich palette and elegant direction make it a worthy addition to the director's oeuvre.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Your thoughts? WoodyWoolf
Easily One of Almodovar's Best. DexterManning
Is Harry Caine truly blind? nanilluc
Do not see this movie. srkredliner
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Beautiful film. Beach scene had me in tears.. jamie147
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