a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Broken Embraces

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Approaching late career, Pedro Almodovar’s 17th feature, Broken Embraces, looks back lovingly on his cinematic influences while constructing a wildly convoluted story of lost love and reconciliation with past. Centering on the story of blind screenwriter/ex-film director, Harry Caine, played with emotion tightly held by Lluis Homar (Bad Education), who changed his life and name after the tragic accident that took his beloved Lena, played by Penelope Cruz. At the heart of the film is the unraveling of the backstory that led to Lena’s untimely loss and the hardening of his heart. A host of Almodovar regulars inhabit this particular world that references Citizen Kane, the noirs of Billy Wilder, Rossellini’s Journey to Italy and Almodovar’s own Women on the Verge of Nervous breakdown in a hilarious film within the film, Chicas con maletas.  References aside, the viewer is left with a moving tale of lives broken and how they cope and heal. Rodrigo Prieto’s (Amores Perros) richly toned cinematography adds a new look to Almodovar’s usual palette of bright poppy colors.

Originally published in EL Magazine, February 2010

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

February 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm

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