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aka LOS ABRAZOS ROTOS
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Penelope Cruz, Lluis Homar, Blanca Portillo, Jose Luis Gómez, Ruben Ochandiano, Tamar Novas, angela Molina, Chus Lampreave, Kiti Manver, Lola Duenas, Mariola Fuentes, Carmen Machi, Kira Miró, Rossy de Palma, Alejo Sauras
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 128 mins
USA Rated: R for sexual content, language and some drug material
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, sex and hard drug references
USA Release Date: 11 December 2009 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 20 November 2009 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 28 August 2009
A man writes, lives and loves in darkness. Fourteen years before, he was in a brutal car crash on the island of Lanzarote. In the accident, he didn't lose only his sight, he also lost Lena, the love of his life.
This man (Lluis Homar) uses two names: Harry Caine, a playful pseudonym with which he signs his literary works, stories and scripts, and Mateo Blanco, his real name, with which he lives and signs the film he directs. After the accident, Mateo Blanco reduces himself to his pseudonym, Harry Caine. If he can't direct films he can only survive with the idea that Mateo Blanco died on Lanzarote with his beloved (Lena Penelope Cruz). . He erases from his biography any trace of his first identity, Mateo Blanco in a form of self-induced amnesia.
In the present day, Harry Caine lives thanks to the scripts he writes and to the help he gets from his faithful former production manager, Judit Garcia (Blanca Portillo), and from Diego (Tamar Novas), her son, his secretary, typist and guide.
One night Diego has an accident and Harry takes care of him, as his mother, Judit, is out of Madrid. They decide not to tell her anything so as not to alarm her. During the first nights of his convalescence, Diego asks him about the time when he answered to the name of Mateo Blanco, after a moment of astonishment Harry can't refuse and he tells Diego what happened fourteen years before - just as a father tells his little child a story so that he'll fall asleep.
The story of Mateo, Lena, Judit and Ernesto Martel is a story of "amour fou", dominated by fatality, jealously, the abuse of power, treachery and a guilt complex. A moving and terrible story, the most expressive image of which is the photo of two lovers embracing, torn into a thousand pieces.