Sunday, January 24, 2010

Los Abrazos Rotos/Broken Embraces

Movie name: Los Abrazos Rotos
Year of release: 2009
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Stars: Penelope Cruz, Lluis Homar, Blanca Portillo, Jose Luis Gomez, Ruben Ochandiano, Tamar Novas, Angela Molina, Chus Lampreave, Kiti Manver, Rossy de Palma
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis:The fantastic Pedro Almodovar has returned three years after "Volver" with another film that focus on the art of film making, something that "La Mala Educacion" also highlighted (and "La Ley El Deseo"). The film starts by focusing on Harry Caine, a blind screenwriter, but slowly changes its' focus to Lena, a beautiful young woman, who was an actress in one of Harry's films, some 14 years ago. Lena was involved with a very wealthy man, but had always wanted to be an actress. Upon doing a test screen for Harry, at the time named Matteo Blanco, she gets cast and they eventually fall in love. What follows is a game of jealousy between these three key players and other characters that surround them. As usual, the films of Pedro Almodovar are built upon layers, that slowly unravel, until you can see the full drama (or comedy for that matter) on display. "Los Abrazos Rotos" is no exception, the film within the film is a clear allusion to the directors' own earlier work, "Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios". Revisionist but with a purpose, to flash out the work of Matteo, his obsession with film and the love for his muse (much like Pedro Almodovar). The film is populated with his usual actors and Penelope Cruz does a fantastic job again, playing the luminous Lena, torn between gratitude and a love and passion that are impossible to control. A very good film worth seeing.