Films & Schedules
  • Broken Embraces

  • Pedro Almodóvar

Country: Spain
128 minutes

Thursday September 1009:30PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Buy Now
Saturday September 1209:30AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3 Buy Now


As Almodóvar settles into the midpoint of an already illustrious career, his work has achieved a happy balance between the whiz-kid pyrotechnics of his early days as a filmmaker and the more mature, measured style of his recent films. Broken Embraces sits somewhere between the two. In addition to a dense, labyrinthine narrative that jumps across time periods, it also features some fiercely contested, complex relationships. Furthermore, the master proves that he has lost none of his skill in managing the demands of a film that touches on his own métier.

At the centre of this affecting feature sits a blind screenwriter and former director who has abandoned his real name, Mateo Blanco, for a pseudonym, Harry Caine, the first sign of the double life he leads. Harry's current reality conceals a fascinating past, which Almodóvar spends much of his film detailing. The plot is propelled by the arrival of a brash young man, hot on the heels of news that the producer of Mateo's film “Girls and Suitcases” has died. The film marked a defining period in Mateo's life, as both he and his producer had fallen madly in love with a girl who was cast in the project. The simmering Lena had turned both of their worlds inside out. She became the love of Mateo's life while simultaneously leading a double life with the film's producer. But it is the young man on his doorstep that intrigues and troubles the now blind Harry. Who is he?

Almodóvar skilfully and effortlessly uncovers the secrets of everyone's various pasts in this steamy, scheming and oh-so-romantic melodrama. Penélope Cruz continues to broaden her palette as a dramatic and comedic actress, turning the coquettish Lena into a fully rounded and completely sympathetic schemer, while Lluís Homar, best known for his role in Bad Education, is both dignified and skittish in the double role of Harry/Mateo. Almodóvar's witty, well-written screenplay provides the intricate canvas on which this very Spanish dance of life and death is played out.

Piers Handling

Pedro Almodóvar was born in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain. A self-taught filmmaker, he directed his first feature, Pepi, Luci, Bom, in 1980. His 1999 film All About My Mother won the Academy Award® for best foreign-language film. His other films include Labyrinth of Passions (82), Dark Habits (83), What Have I Done to Deserve This? (84), Matador (86), Law of Desire (87), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (88), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (90), High Heels (91), Kika (93), The Flower of My Secret (95), Talk to Her (02), Bad Education (04), Volver (06) and Broken Embraces (09).

Cadillac People's Choice Award