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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Broken Embraces

"I've just been with the man I love. I'm happier than I've ever been. Because he loves me too."
Three years after Pedro Almodóvar's critically claimed, and one of my favorite films of 2009, Volver hit theaters and garnered Penélope Cruz an Oscar nomination comes Broken Embraces, Almodovar's latest film that follows a venomous love affair between two heartbroken lovers.
All Mateo Blanco (played by Lluís Homar) ever wanted to do was write and direct the perfect film. While hard at work on his newest script, a comedy, he meets and falls in love with Magdelena (played by Penélope Cruz), a beautiful wannabe actress trapped in a heartless relationship with the rich (and horribly flawed) Ernesto Martel (played by José Luis Gómez), who becomes the star of his upcoming cinematic masterpiece. Word of their steamy romance gets out to Martel, and needless to say he doesn't take it well. Their undercover affair goes on a wild tailspin across the border with horrible consequences. As a result, everyone's life changes and, in true Almodovar form, secrets are revealed and each character's life is turned upside down in a ripple effect of heartache.
Though it has many of Almodovar's impressive array of signature actors, especially Homar and Blanca Portillo, and whimsical flair, Broken Embraces, is quite different from Volver. But Broken Embraces is a well-written story of a love so precious it hurt.

Broken Embraces is in theaters now.

Reel Talk rating: B+

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