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Article

Broken Embraces

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Penelope Cruz, Broken Embraces | BLING-A-LING Bejeweled movie star Penélope Cruz primps at the mirror in Broken Embraces
Emilio Pereda/Paola Ardizzoni

Broken Embraces

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
128 minutes
Limited Release Date:
11/20/09
performer:
Penelope Cruz, Blanca Portillo
director:
Pedro Almodovar
distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
author:
Pedro Almodovar
genre:
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it an A-

A vibrant, mature love letter to the making of movies, the meaning of movies, and the dark-eyed muse Penélope Cruz, Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces doesn’t so much break new ground in the filmmaker’s instantly recognizable terrain as deepen an Almodóvarian’s understanding of how this uniquely stylish Spanish artist sees the world. And as every frame of this chic and playful comedy/melodrama attests, he sees the world — of personal relationships and creative collaboration, of natural landscape and man-made decor — through a cinephile’s magnifying lens.

Lluís Homar plays a blind screenwriter who was once a movie director and who once loved his leading lady (Cruz, delectable). As for the lady, she was once the mistress of a jealous tycoon, who once bullied his gay son into spying on the mistress by documenting the shooting of their ill-fated collaboration — ?a movie bearing a crazy resemblance to Almodóvar’s own classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The plot thickens! Further fun: Many of the characters go by two different names. So best advice for optimum viewing is, see Broken Embraces…twice. A-

See all of this week’s reviews