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
Pedro Almodóvar: cars] the main characters drive a red car, which features prominently in the plot. In this film is a 1991 Opel Corsa A. 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 »
[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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TTechnically beautiful, and well acted by the leads (some of the supporting cast is less than stellar), but there's a bit too much in this film-noir/comedy/romantic tragedy that feels over- the-top, for it to be a great film. And the homages to Hitchcock, Sirk, Amodovar's younger self, etc. walk the line between amusing and distracting. That said, this did improve on a second viewing, and became a more emotional and satisfying experience. A now blind writer remembers his past as a director with a different name who had a great love affair with his leading lady (Penelope Cruz, beautiful and wonderful as always), much to the fury of her powerful, industrialist sugar-daddy. Never boring, often enthralling, but somehow ultimately just a tiny touch less than the sum of its parts.
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