Broken Embraces

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 3.0

Even Almodóvar rehashing some of his past films can be an interesting - if overcomplicated - venture. A film director turned recluse (Lluís Homar) recants the story of his doomed relationship with an actress (Penélope Cruz) and how their romance drew the ire of the actress' much older (and rightly jealous) lover. The film flip-flops between 'present day' and the past freely but this is typical of the director - if anything, the flashbacks and constantly shifting narrative add a unique twist on the typically slimmed-down and 'simplified' Hollywood product. Forever a maximalist, Pedro throws it all at you: noir, camp, drama, soap opera, and all with bright colors ... plus he's forever been able to bring out the best in Cruz (who was also outstanding in Volver). The third act 'resolutions' are rushed and not exactly satisfying, but I like the road there.