Not-So-Magnificent Obsession: Almodóvar's "Broken Embraces"

By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog November 20, 2009 at 3:49AM

If he weren’t so damn likable and talented, it would be tempting to begrudge Pedro Almodóvar his success. Almodóvar—always a gifted visual stylist—turned an artistic corner a decade ago with All About My Mother and its follow-up, Talk to Her. To the eye-popping color, self-conscious deconstruction of genre, and playful performativity that had characterized his earlier work, those films added an emotional maturity and clarity that his previous movies only hinted at. They were serious, and they were seriously fun to watch. Since then, Almodóvar has honed a brand of cinema that weds respectability and commercial viability so seamlessly that Cannes invites and U.S. distribution now come pro forma. That bankable Almodóvar brand, coupled with his larger-than-life personality, has made him one of the few breakout directorial stars of contemporary international cinema. People and critics love to love him and his movies. As a result, he’s difficult to criticize. Click here to read the rest of Chris Wisniewski's review of Broken Embraces.
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If he weren’t so damn likable and talented, it would be tempting to begrudge Pedro Almodóvar his success. Almodóvar—always a gifted visual stylist—turned an artistic corner a decade ago with All About My Mother and its follow-up, Talk to Her. To the eye-popping color, self-conscious deconstruction of genre, and playful performativity that had characterized his earlier work, those films added an emotional maturity and clarity that his previous movies only hinted at. They were serious, and they were seriously fun to watch. Since then, Almodóvar has honed a brand of cinema that weds respectability and commercial viability so seamlessly that Cannes invites and U.S. distribution now come pro forma. That bankable Almodóvar brand, coupled with his larger-than-life personality, has made him one of the few breakout directorial stars of contemporary international cinema. People and critics love to love him and his movies. As a result, he’s difficult to criticize. Click here to read the rest of Chris Wisniewski's review of Broken Embraces.