A man (Lluís Homar) tells his assistant the story of how he lost both his sight and the love (Penélope Cruz) of his life.
" Broken Embraces is a voluptuary of a film, drunk on primary colors, caressing Penelope Cruz, using the devices of a Hitchcock to distract us with surfaces while the sinister uncoils beneath. "
" The writer-director is up to his old tricks, creating an onion of an experience -- a movie within a movie within a movie, irony in each layer, poignancy that stings and whimsy that bites. "
" While it may not be Almodovar's greatest work, it still stands well above most other films in terms of intrigue, intelligence and innovation. "
" It all adds up to an entertaining mash of suspense and melodrama. "
" Pedro Almodovar's latest movie is positively drunk in its desire for handsome actors and beautiful actresses, gorgeously art-directed sets, suspense, comedy, ironic flashbacks, tragic romance. "
" One failing in the film is how boring it is to watch Cruz pretend to be a bad actress. The comic movie within a movie, which borrows from Women on the Verge, isn't funny. "
" Amid all this dazzling artifice, the film's most authentic source of power comes from its star. "
" All of the actors do good work, but as is often the case in Almodovar films, the women own the movie. "
" This melancholy romance is the first Almodovar feature I've ever really liked, an expertly fashioned melodrama that steers mercifully clear of his usual puckishness and star-mongering. "
" While Cruz acquits herself capably, this is, necessarily, an exercise in virtuosic superficiality. "
" The story is twisted and complex, yet it emerges as sleek and unfussy. The characters' actions are grandly melodramatic, but the movie is close and intimate. "
" As long as Almodovar keeps investing such thought and energy in his work, he can play with whatever themes he desires. "
" Almodovar could've played it entirely for laughs, with a flick of his wrist and a tonal adjustment. It's best he didn't, though. The movie putters near the end, but it's a film lover's delight. "
" It's both ridiculous and ridiculously romantic, which is an apt description of a work shaped like a heart and structured like a pretzel. "
" Perhaps Almodovar and film noir simply don't mix. "
" Stylish and sly, an engaging exercise that gives us less than meets the eye. "
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