7.2/10
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87 user 235 critic

Broken Embraces (2009)

Los abrazos rotos (original title)
Trailer
1:05 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Pedro Almodóvar
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Penélope Cruz ... Lena
Lluís Homar ... Mateo Blanco / Harry Caine
Blanca Portillo ... Judit García
José Luis Gómez ... Ernesto Martel
Rubén Ochandiano ... Ray X
Tamar Novas ... Diego
Ángela Molina ... Madre de Lena
Chus Lampreave ... Portera
Kiti Mánver ... Madame Mylene
Lola Dueñas ... Lectora de labios
Mariola Fuentes ... Edurne
Carmen Machi ... Chon
Kira Miró ... Modelo
Rossy de Palma ... Julieta
Alejo Sauras ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

15 January 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broken Hugs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,111, 22 November 2009

Gross USA:

$5,014,305

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,991,660
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Asier Etxeandia appeared in one scene that didn't make the final cut. See more »

Goofs

Mateo's wristwatch has the crystal intact. A blind person's watch would have the crystal removed, so that (s)he could tell time by feeling the position of the hands. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

References Elevator to the Gallows (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Robot Oeuf
Written by Uffie and Feadz
Performed by Uffie
Courtesy of Ed Banger Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Almodovar's best, but still worth seeing
31 July 2010 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

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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