Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces). 2009. Spain. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. With Penélope Cruz, Lluís Homar, Blanca Portillo, José Luis Gómez, Rubén Ochandiano. DCP. In Spanish; English subtitles. 127 min.
The news of the death of powerful Madrilenian businessman Ernesto Martel (José Luis Gómez) forces Harry Caine (Lluís Homar), a blind man who was once a film writer/director, to confront his tragic past. Magdalena (Penélope Cruz) was the star of Caine’s last feature, Girls and Suitcases, with a plot similar to Almodóvar’s 1998 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Although she was Martel’s much-younger girlfriend at the time, the director and actress fell ferociously in love during filming. The film-within-a-film, combining multiple genres, brings together love, obsession, voyeurism, and melancholy in a moving meditation on filmmaking and cinema.