Saturday, April 10, 2010

Penelope Cruz does for Almodovar, what James Stewart does for Hitchcock.

Broken Embraces.

Cast: Penelope Cruz,Lluis Homar

Writer & Director: Pedro Almodovar.

**and a 1/2*'s out of four.

Penelope Cruz portrays Lena. A struggling actress who has become the obesssion between a director Mateo Blanco(Lluis Homar) and a millionaire financier Erensto Martel(Jose Luis Gomez) in Aldomavar's latest opus.

Harry Cain(Homar) was once a successful director named Mateo Blanco who became a screenwriter after an accident left him blind. He is approached by Ray X(Ruben Ochanidano)a film maker who wants Harry's help in writing a script to extract revenge on his father who is later revealed to be Ernesto Martel. Cain reflects back when he first met Lena when she came in to audition for one of his movies. At the time she was a mistress to Martel who is also putting up money for the movie . Both Lena and Mateo begin an affair that becomes dangerous when Martel discovers it.

Broken Embraces is a tightly stylized drama with elements of mystery, film noir and a bit of romantic comedy to balance it out. The look and sound of the film reminded me of those classic mysteries from the early fifties infused with the sexual confidence of the late sixties. The only thing that was hurting this film from getting a higher rating was that there was no real big conclusion to the story. When the mystery behind several items including Mateo's blindness is revealed, the movie just ends. I felt that there was no real justice to those responsible. Cruz turns in a very great performance a sexpot,a loving daughter, and the girlfriend next door. Many other critics have stated that the Oscars should have nominated this performance and not the one from "Nine"

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