Friday, December 4, 2009

Film Review: Almodovar's Broken Embraces

by Eric Green

Film Review: Broken Embraces; Pedro Almodovar 's

Pedro Almodovar has done it again. His re-uniting with Penelope Cruz and a number of familiar faces from previous productions makes "'Broken Embraces" a very enjoyable film event.

In this film, which he wrote and directed, his brother Agustin Almodovar is a producer, he creates the dual male character of Mateo Blanco/Harry Caine.

Lluis Homar plays this complicated character, who as a film director, becomes completely infatuated by Penelope Cruz. Cruz plays that live-in girl friend, Lena, of a wealthy Spaniard Ernesto Martel. Jose Luis Gomez who physically resembles Anthony Quinn almost too much plays Martel. He, of course, is not about the let Cruz loose, but she forces the issue about her acting career.

Homar adopts the name Harry Caine to avoid his past; but then meets Diego, a young man who is the son of his closest working companion. This is the first time that Almodovar has featured a male lead. He says he may do it again.

Of course, all the publicity about the film is Cruz. The very intense sex scenes with Cruz and her two men are at the same time quite explicit and very Almodovarian in taste and with their own intensity.

Like most Almodovar films, the cinematography is impeccable. The acting is superb. And, the flow of activity is seamless. It is a pleasure as a moviegoer to be able to put yourself into the hands of a director who will not abuse that privilege.

Almovodar, as his followers know, is a political activist for peace and justice in his home country of Spain.

This film is a director's gem.

Their previous film collaborations were: "All About My Mother" "Volver" "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."