Broken Embraces

Penélope Cruz and José Luis Gómez in <i>Broken Embraces</i>

My review of Broken Embraces is online at

The box describes Broken Embraces as an “acclaimed tale of sex, secrets and cinema,” which makes me go, “Uh-oh.” Pedro Almodóvar reliably delivers heady blends of glamour, melodrama, and emotional turmoil, but such stuff still runs hot and cold from movie to movie. So although I liked his Bad Education, a film that was all about “sex, secrets and cinema,” the prospect of Almodóvar returning to the tortured-filmmaker well filled me with trepidation.

Volver (2006)


The title of Pedro Almodóvar’s new movie, Volver, literally means “to return.” But, at least when pronounced with an American accent, it’s not hard to imagine an aural pun referring to a certain part of a woman’s anatomy. If that’s deliberate, then the title is not only a reference to the film’s status as figurative ghost story, but also a declaration of intent to explore the lives of a handful of women sprung (as all women are) from the wombs of their mothers.

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