Broken Embraces

2009

Drama / Romance / Thriller

73
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 37,764

Synopsis


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1.14 GB
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Spanish 2.0
R
23.976 fps
127 min
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2.35 GB
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Spanish 2.0
R
23.976 fps
127 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 / 10 / 10

Enjoyable and good Almodovar melodrama with nice acting from main and support cast

The picture was competently directed by Pedro Almodovar in his usual style, being produced by his brother Agustin Almodovar and their production company , El Deseo . Interesting and agreeable drama by Almodovar plenty of passions , love , death , twists and great performances . In Madrid , Harry Caine (Luis Homar) is a blind screenwriter and ex-filmmaker , long time ago was still known by his real name , Mateo Blanco , he is helped by Judit (Blanca Portillo) and her son Diego (Navas) . Harry attempts to heal his injures from 14 years back when he had a car accident along with his sweetheart . But the past comes rushing in when Harry to be aware the death of Ernesto Martel (José Luis Gómez) , a powerful producer , and Ernesto's son (Ruben Ochandiano) pays Harry a visit . In a lot of flashbacks we watch how Mateo , falls in love with Ernesto's mistress, Lena (Penélope Cruz) , and casts her in a picture , which Ernesto produces . Later on , the disturbing Ernesto sends his son to film the making of the movie, to follow Lena and Mateo, and to give him the daily footage , then things get awry . The picture is narrated by a series of flashbacks to the 1990s containing intense drama , passion, twists , obsession , jealousy, guilt , and surprises . The movie has an autobiographical dimension, but that is indirectly, through the weird characters . Almodóvar told about ¨Abrazos rotos¨ or ¨Broken embraces¨ the following : ¨ I believe it is the most complex script I've ever written and during the writing of this film and also during the shoot, I did find myself in a different place. The way of making the film, the way of telling the story, the actors' tone and the way of editing was, you could say, a departure from some of my previous films. The film is much more balanced between the female characters and the male characters. This is also something new for me. I do feel that this film is a true declaration of love for cinema. I could almost say that cinema perfects all the irregularities, or the imperfections, of life¨ . And about Penélope Cruz : ¨Penélope was born to be an actress. She is someone who is extremely emotional, and if she was not an actress it could be a problem for her. It's luck she has chosen a profession that allows her to express something that would be too much for a normal person. Otherwise she would suffer a lot. And even now maybe she suffers too much¨ . The main cast is frankly extraordinary , as Luís Homar as a blind writer who reaches this moment in time , but the sad past returns ; Penélope Cruz as the gorgeous Lena ; and José Luis Gómez as the jealous and obsessive Ernesto. The support cast is pretty good , such as : Blanca Portillo , Ruben Ochandiano , Lola Dueñas , Ángela Molina , Kiti Mánver , Mariola Fuentes , Carmen Machi ,Rossy de Palma , Alejo Sauras , Kira Miró and Chus Lampreave , Pedro's ordinary . Sensitive and enjoyable soundtrack by Oscar Winner Alberto Iglesias , Almodovar regular. Colorful and evocative cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto . The motion picture was well directed by Pedrro Almodóvar , considered to be the most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel .He often uses symbolism and metaphorical techniques to portray circular storylines .His films often portrays strong female characters and transsexuals and he has directed one Oscar nominated performance: Penélope Cruz in Volver (2006) . His first films were in low budget and had certain success , such as Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón , Entre tinieblas , Laberinto de pasiones , What Have I Done to Deserve This? . Pedro subsequently made several hit movies . He spent 10 years writing the script for La mala educación (2004) (a.k.a. "Bad Education"), during which time he made such acclaimed films such as Todo sobre mi madre (1999) (a.k.a. "All About my Mother") and Hable con ella (2002) (a.k.a. "Talk to Her") , the script is based upon a short story he wrote as an adolescent, which was based upon his experience at a Catholic boarding school . Pedro has got a lot of hits with dramatic films as Talk to her , Volver , The flower of My secret , The sin I live in, Carne Trémula, Tacones Lejanos , Ley Del Deseo , Matador and many others.

Reviewed by mc_190183 7 / 10 / 10

Spain's finest export strikes again

Pedro's back and Madrid has gone wild. With the release of his 17th feature film, "Los Abrazos Rotos" (Broken Embraces) Almodovár tells the tale of a blind film director (Lluis Omar) and how he came to lose not only his sight, but also the love of his life (Penelope Cruz). The film is by no means a departure from the Spaniard's typical traits, with the picture employing the usual Almodóvar fodder – love, lies, tears, melodrama, comedy - to great effect. The film journeys between the past and the present, and interweaves diverse stories and viewpoints, to construct a fascinating drama full of twists and turns. The acting is terrific and there are many 'in-jokes' involving subtle references to previous Almodóvar films, with the picture rounded off nicely by a soundtrack produced by the ever-brilliant Alberto Iglesias (featuring original music alongside tracks by Uffie, Cat Power and Can). My only gripe would be the film's length, clocking up over 2 hours – a factor which is noticeable given that the film's storyline does seem to run out of steam after the 90-minute mark. But that minor complaint should not detract from the fact that Almodóvar has demonstrated himself to be one of the most individual and consistent film-makers in modern cinema. It must be said that 'Los Abrazos Rotos' is not the tour-de-force that some fans may have hoped for and falls short of eclipsing what in my opinion was his career high – Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her). Nevertheless, Almodóvar delivers a very engaging film which is sure to become another hit, and will no doubt earn more accolades for the man who can deservedly call himself Spain's most successful film-maker of all time.

Reviewed by MaxBorg89 7 / 10 / 10

Almodovar's embrace with cinema

There's never been any doubt about Pedro Almodovar's unquestioned, unstoppable love for all things cinema, a fact that pops up frequently in his body of work, most notably the autobiographical Bad Education. Like that intrigue-heavy melodrama, Broken Embraces was shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, with many critics and bookmakers speculating about the director finally winning the Palme d'Or after many unsuccessful attempts (the closest he came, apparently, was with the stunning Volver). Of course, the movie received zero awards (with the top prize going to Michael Haneke, another "perennial loser" so to speak) and left many people who saw it indifferent. The reason? Almodovar keeps making the exact same films year after year. The "hero" of Broken Embraces is a Spanish screenwriter (Lluis Homar, who played the older priest in Bad Education) who calls himself Harry Caine (a mixture of fictional character Harry Palmer and the actor playing him, Michael Caine, or possibly a play on how Italians and Spaniards phonetically pronounce the English word "hurricane"). He's blind, and has gone off on a soul-searching journey to deal with a tragedy that occurred 14 years earlier. As the mystery surrounding his past unravels, flashbacks are used to depict a "happier" time, when he could still see, was known as Mateo Blanco and tried to make his last film, on the set of which he met and fell in love with actress Lena (Penélope Cruz), who unfortunately was involved with another, more powerful man... It's easy to see why people choose to dislike the film: they're right, there's nothing really original in the screenplay (the "solution" to the mystery is easy to guess), in fact Almodovar seems to be going on autopilot, hitting the melodrama button without bothering to make sure he's doing it the right way. But that doesn't mean he never does a good job: visually, Broken Embraces is as enchanting as Volver, and if there's one thing the director hardly ever gets wrong, it's casting: Penélope Cruz is beautiful and convincingly vulnerable at the same time, Homar elicits enough sympathy as Mateo/Harry, and the "villain" of the piece (José Luis Gomez) is acceptably solid. As for the self-referential streak in Almodovar's production (there's at least one in-joke in every film), he really hits gold this time, with fake footage of Mateo's lost film coming off as a clever pastiche of earlier hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which starred his other muse Carmen Maura. That scene alone justifies watching the film at least once. Broken Embraces may not be vintage Almodovar, but he's worth checking out even when he's "slacking".

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