Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Broken Embraces

The latest film from Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodovar is a wonderful tribute to the '50's film noir, filled with many cinematic references, including nods to his own earlier work. Mr. Almodovar, once again, works with Penelope Cruz and she is just wonderful in the film. There is something so natural in their collaboration that brings out her best work.

While a homage to the "50's noir, the film is very contemporary in it's use of color. Bright colors are a staple of Mr. Almodovar's work and he paints a bright palate as he weaves his tale of love, betrayal, and deception shifting back and forth in time from the '90's to today. The cinematography is wonderful with fanciful angles and fascinating shots throughout the film.

The intricate story unfolds at it's own pace and plot points slowly reveal themselves. Ms. Cruz has never looked lovelier and does some of her best work as Lena. Lluis Homar is Mateo, the film director blinded years earlier and now living as a screenwriter. Mr. Homar is excellent as a man reinvented after horrible circumstances who finds himself reexamining the past only to confront his future. How these two lives become entwined is the central plot of the story.

The film is in Spanish with subtitles but don't let that deter you. It's a deep and rich story that will pull you in and and you'll find yourself happy in it's charms.

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