Broken Embraces (15)
Friday 28 August 2009
After a run of world-class films that began 10 years ago with All about My Mother, Pedro Almodóvar has slightly taken his foot off the pedal here.
There is much to admire in the silky editing and kaleidoscopic narrative of this movie-inflected melodrama, though having set up its plot beautifully in the first hour the film somehow muffs the resolution of its multiple intrigues. Echoing Bad Education, it concerns a blind screenwriter, Harry Caine (Lluís Homar), who's hiding from his former identity as film-maker Mateo Blanco. Flashing back to the early 1990s we find Blanco involved in a passionate affair with Lena (Penélope Cruz), herself balancing a double identity as a humble PA and an aspiring actress – she will star in Blanco's new movie "Girls and Suitcases", itself a reworking of Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It's pleasant to get lost in this maze of doubles and duplicates, and to spot other movies in its densely allusive texture. Yet it's never truly exciting or affecting, and it doesn't take the emotional risks of, say, Talk to Her. Almodóvar shares with Alfred Hitchcock a natural obsession with movies and loves to quote them, which is fine as far as it goes; but the complexity of its plotting is not answered by a comparable sophistication of feeling. The director is toying with us, he knows it, and he knows we know it. This isn't a dud, it's just a small disappointment.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 4 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Orange Is The New Black season 3: Pornstache isn't coming back
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
Guardians Of The Galaxy, review: Marvel-lite movie feels half-hearted
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss