Pedro Almodóvar lush romantic melodrama Broken Embraces doesn’t find the director at the very top of his game – it’s just a little too self-indulgent and self-referential to match such triumphs as Talk to Her and Volver – but even when Almodóvar is slightly below his best he still manages to out-dazzle most of his contemporaries.
Broken Embraces boasts a convoluted plot that reveals its secrets gradually as it flashes back and forth between past and present. In present-day Madrid, blind screenwriter Harry Caine (Lluís Homar) learns of the death of a powerful industrialist and recalls the time when he was a successful film director. Back then, in the 1990s, he fell in love with the tycoon’s beautiful mistress (played by Almodóvar’s favourite leading lady and muse, Penélope Cruz), triggering a fateful chain of events…
The teasingly mysterious story never grips as much as it might, but the film’s sumptuous cinematography provides a fitting showcase for Cruz, who has never looked more incandescently gorgeous.
Released 1st February.