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
The short film La concejala antropófaga (2009) came about because of this film. Pedro Almodóvar was so happy with Carmen Machi's performance in this movie that he wrote her monologue from the short the night after she shot her scene. The next morning, Almodóvar approached Machi with the script, and they filmed it that day. See more »
When the movie goes back to 1992, Ernesto Martel speaks from his office about getting a contract to build Caracas' Metro. This Metro was built more than 10 years earlier than that. See more »
[in Spanish, quoting English subtitles]
What's your name?
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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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.
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