Almodovar and his 'Broken Embraces'



It's always a welcome treat to catch a new Almodovar movie. He has a cinematic sense that is badly missing with today's maverick directors, he also has a style that is remarkably his and a filmography that is clearly inspired and flamboyant. While many of his movies have a certain -je ne sais pas- joyful and colorful surface to them, there is always substance that comes with his movie's stylistics. I can think of the wonderful Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown which very much had the Almodovar melodrama but had a story that had the substance intended to bring its aspirations to greatness.

Of course, I am not a fan of everything he does. There are some critically lauded movies of his that have left me scratching my head and not totally satisfied with the finished product. Sometimes our friend Pedro goes way beyond the stlye required and forget that there has to be a story told and a mannerism that does not just involve kitschy colors or flamboyant gayness. His new movie is called Broken Embraces (4/5) and its just divine- in fact it is as close to Hitchcock-ian transcendence as he has ever come close to in his career. The story -like many of his movies- is within another story and has a gorgeous Penelope Cruz as an actress obsessed with her director and willing to leave her rich husband for the aforementioned filmmaker.

To say more would be to reveal too many of this richly rewarding movies secrets. Suffice to say I greatly enjoyed the ride that Almodovar gave us this time, especially compared to the overrated fantasy he last bestowed on us with Volver. This is what I expect from a man that has made movies his life and Cruz his beautiful muse. He is a filmmaker to cherish and one that is just starting to mature, even after 3 decades of imaginative storytelling.
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