Penelope Cruz stars in the new Spanish movie called "Broken Embraces." But even though the film is getting Oscar buzz, I wasn't that impressed...though I did really appreciate the way this film looks.
The director, Pedro Almodovar is an artist with a camera. His sixteen movies are beautifully photographed--glossy, colorful and sexy. But many of them are also like soap operas full of long hidden secrets, shameful betrayals, and overly complicated melodramatic plots.
"Broken Embraces" is not an exception.
When filmmaker Mateo Blanco meets would-be actress Lena Rivas (Cruz), he's instantly smitten.
And though she is the kept woman of a very rich man, they fall in love.
Their love story is the center of "Broken Embraces," but the film lets us know their relationship has ended even before it shows us how their affair began.
That's because most of the film is a flashback to 14 years earlier... in the present day, Mateo Blanco is blind and he has changed his name to Harry Cain.
You can see what I mean about a complicated melodramatic plot, and that's just a fraction of it.
The best reason to see "Broken Embraces" is the performance of the talented and beautiful Penelope Cruz. The film may be soap opera, but Almodovar worships Cruz and knows how to use her movie star qualities. It's too bad that a filmmaker who shoots such gorgeous images isn't a better screenwriter.
Here's a warning for you. Don't waste your money on "Youth in Revolt," the teenage romantic comedy starring Michael Cera. Cera is a fine young actor, but this ridiculous film is beneath his talents.