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

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 26,460 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 83 user | 221 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Broken Embraces (2009)

Broken Embraces (2009) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chus Lampreave ...
Kiti Mánver ...
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Mariola Fuentes ...
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Álex
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 2009 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Broken Embraces  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$107,111 (USA) (20 November 2009)

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with El País in March 2009, Pedro Almodóvar revealed that the idea for the lip reader played by Lola Dueñas came from watching the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Asturias on Spain's Telecinco, where the services of a lip reader were employed by the channel to relay what the couple were saying to each other as they stood at the altar. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, during Matteo remakes the video, we see two chairs in old video record which are made by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola for Italian furniture brand Moroso (Antibodi chaise lounge - produced in 2006). While Lena was going to open the door for red dress woman there behind we can see each of them. And also outside in the terrace we can see another chair designed by P. Urquiola for Moroso (Tropicalia chair - produced in 2009). But from 1990 to 1996 P. Urquiola was the assistant professor to Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli at the Politecnico Di Milano and ENSCI in Paris. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Spanish, quoting English subtitles]
Modelo: What's your name?
Mateo Blanco: Harry Caine.
[voiceover]
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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Connections

References Orpheus (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Robot Oeuf
Written by Uffie and Feadz
Performed by Uffie
Courtesy of Ed Banger Records
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User Reviews

 
A sorry Almodovar. A truly, deeply, and disappointingly slow sorrow maelstrom
4 June 2009 | by (Paris, Fr) – See all my reviews

There's not much to say when Pedro Almodovar gives us a good movie. Even less when he gives us a wonderful movie. Unfortunately Los Abrazos Rotos is way way below Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Hable con Ella, and one slight cut below Volver. Even La Mala Educacion was somewhat more consistent.

Maybe Almodovar got stuck in the trap of self-importance as he wanted to tell a story about movies, about his love for cinema. Movie references in his previous works were just subtle touches, even when he insisted on speaking of All About Eve in All Todo Sobre Mi Madre (About My Mother).

Los Abrazos Rotos starts out nice, this blind writer seems to have a lot to show us. With the first flashback to 1992 we already lose some ground since we are shifting gears down to another emotional setup; from there we start over grounded in pathos, so it is like we are told to hold back, just like the main characters. Since we are curious about the whole backstory we can take some of this, even though we're left with very little to chew as it unfolds. Eventually, when we know it all about the drama 14 years back, the movie painfully drags its feet to a dull ending. I would never have imagined Almodovar could get so boring. Was it just him drowned in nostalgia for a time when all his energy would come easily and easily translate into those buoyant, yet emotional, features like Chicas y Maletas -- I mean Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios?

It seems to me there's a big bug in the script (damn, I would never have imagined myself indulging in the critique of one of Almodovar's scripts). Basically, all major characters are on the same emotional level: they all bear the scars of a painful love and none is speaking his mind. We're just there to wait, overwhelmed by pathos, until a long winding flashback will tell us more. Maybe the movie starts up too emotional and fails to lighten up before going back to its roots. Hable con Ella didn't really ever lighten up but it was way more focused. So I dare say Almodovar messed up his craft here. It's not that bad since he gave us so much before, but it's quite a big letdown.


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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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