About the Film
Broken Embraces (Spanish: Los abrazos rotos) is a 2009 Spanish film by Pedro Almodóvar set in the 1990s and present day. The film centers on a four-way tale of dangerous love, and was shot in the style of a hard-boiled 1950s American film noir, more themed to the neo-noir genre. However, it is filmed in bright color, as most of Almodovar's films are, rather than black-and-white. The cast includes many Almodóvar regulars such as Ángela Molina, Lola Dueñas and Penélope Cruz (her fourth film with the director). The film's soundtrack includes Cat Power, Uffie, and Can.
Many themes include noir references such as posters in sets, the lighting and the characters themselves.
The film has also been nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Almodóvar's sixth film to be nominated in this category. It has also been nominated for the Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as the Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for Penélope Cruz's performance.
SynopsisA man writes, lives and loves in darkness. Fourteen years before, he was in a brutal car crash on the island of Lanzarote. In the accident, he didn’t lose only his sight, he also lost Lena, the love of his life.
This man uses two names: Harry Caine, a playful pseudonym with which he signs his literary works, stories and scripts, and Mateo Blanco, his real name, with which he lives and signs the film he directs. After the accident, Mateo Blanco reduces himself to his pseudonym, Harry Caine. If he can’t direct films he can only survive with the idea that Mateo Blanco died on Lanzarote with his beloved Lena.
In the present day, Harry Caine lives thanks to the scripts he writes and to the help he gets from his faithful former production manager, Judit García, and from Diego, her son, his secretary, typist and guide. When Diego has an accident and circumstances are such that Harry is left to take care of him, Diego asks Harry about the time when he answered to the name of Mateo Blanco.
With the idea of entertaining the him, Harry tells Diego what happened fourteen years just as a father tells his little child a story so that he’ll fall asleep.
What's being said about the film
"Can there be such a thing as exuberant melancholy? I can’t think of another way to describe the spirit of “Broken Embraces,” Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, the title of which carries a telling hint of paradox. It is grave and effervescent, tender and cruel."--The NY Times
"You may get whiplash following the twists and turns in the latest wild ride from Spain’s Pedro Almodóvar. But it hurts so good. Broken Embraces is the fourth film in which Almodóvar has directed his muse, Penélope Cruz. They bring out something elemental in each other..."--Rolling Stone