09 October 2009

Broken Embraces

Written & Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Full credits at IMDb

Thanks to an unnecessary framing device, Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos) is essentially two movies: one, the sort of brightly colored melodrama we've come to expect from Pedro Almodóvar; the other, a neo-homage to the Los Angeles noir. The film toggles between the telenovelic and the quasi-Lynchian; would that Almodóvar had dedicated himself solely to the latter. Lluís Homar, who could easily win a Kelsey Grammer lookalike contest, stars as a blind screenwriter and former film director; he recounts the tale of his tragico-torrid affair, 16 years earlier, with Lena (Penélope Cruz, magnificent as ever), a call girl turned magnate's moll turned actress when her elderly sugar daddy (José Luis Gómez), Ernesto Martel, turns movie-producer for her. These flashbacks, captivatingly foreboding, take far too long to emerge from the inert and dramatically muddled present-day scenes and are eventually cut way too short; they also evoke a wide range of other films.

Keep reading this dispatch from the 2009 New York Film Festival at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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