Broken Embraces | 2009 | R | - 8.4.5
Drama that centers around a blind writer (Lluis Homar) as he uncovers his torrid past: His life is filled with flashbacks that relate a story of unscrupulous power, guilt, and love. Also with Penelope Cruz, Blanca Portillo and Jose Luis Gomez. Directed by Pedro Almodovar. In Spanish with English subtitles. [2:08]
- Two people completely wrapped in bed sheets, head to toe, appear to be engaged in thrusting: We can see the outline of two faces under the sheets and they look like they are kissing as the sound of moaning and panting is heard; the sheet is pulled down revealing a woman (her bare breasts visible), she walks into a bathroom, where she stands nude before a mirror, and then rushes to a toilet, retches, vomit is seen coming from her mouth, she wipes her face and changes into a cleavage-exposing sundress.
► A blind man asks a woman to describe herself, the woman begins to do so in great detail, the man asks if her pants are tight (we see a close-up shot of the crotch of the man's jeans), he places his hands gently on her face, runs his hands through her hair, pulls her close and they kiss; he pulls down the straps of her tank top, revealing her bare breasts, he caresses her breasts, they kiss passionately, the man's bare back is seen and we hear grunting and moaning from behind a couch as the man thrusts on top of the woman (after a loud series of moans, the woman stands up, bare breasts exposed, and the man stands up, shirtless).
► A woman wearing a robe (cleavage is visible) and a man kiss passionately, the man pulls the woman's robe off and pushes the straps of her bra down, the woman pulls at the man's shirt, exposing his bare chest, they continue to kiss passionately, and we see the man's bare back as he thrusts on top of her (moans and panting are heard).
► A man kisses a woman's bruised upper thighs, wraps his arms around her waist and buries his head in her lap while the woman hugs the man. An older man wraps his arms around a woman as she sits in front of a mirror (she is wearing a low-cut cleavage exposing top), the woman stands up and the man kisses her neck. A woman stands behind a man with her arms wrapped around his waist.
► A man and a woman kiss passionately. An older man wraps his arms around a woman and begins to kiss her shoulders and neck as the woman cringes. A woman kisses a man while they are in stopped car. A woman leans over and kisses a man. We see a still photo of a man and woman kissing. A man and a woman kiss in a film. In silhouette we see a man and woman kissing. A blind older man instructs a young man to slowly play a film frame by frame, which depicts a man and a woman kissing, and he places his hand on the screen.
► A shirtless man buttons up his shirt as another man watches him; the men glance at one another, and it is implied that they were just engaged in intercourse. A man's bare chest and back are visible as he shaves. A woman wears a cleavage exposing tube-top. The bare chest of an older man is visible as a woman walks into a room and finds him lying on a bed. A woman wears a low-cut cleavage-exposing top. In a bar setting a woman is seen wearing a low-cut dress and another woman is seen with a tube-style dress exposing a large portion of her bare back. A woman is seen wearing a form-fitting short dress. We see a painting of a woman wearing a low-cut, cleavage-exposing top. During a beach scene, two women wearing bikinis are seen, as well as three men without shirts. A woman is seen wearing extremely short shorts as well as a low-cut cleavage exposing tank top. A woman is seen wearing a man's oversized shirt with no pants and what appears to be a flash of her underpants is seen.
► A woman leans over and kisses a man on the cheek. A man places his hand on the small of a woman's back. A woman places her arms around the neck of an older man, who asks her to marry him; she balks, saying that he has already been married and divorced more than once and that since they already live together they don't need to get married.
► A young man passes out into the arms of another young man, who laughingly remarks that the young man must "really like him."
► An older man asks a young man to continue to describe a story, including asking for vivid descriptions of a female vampire's appearance, including her breasts; he jokes that the female vampire could never engage in oral sex with the male human because she will "bite it off" and then the young man begins to explain how the female vampire's mouth will become a "dental erection."
► A man watches a film clip where a woman tells another woman that she was very interested in the idea of sex and that she had picked up a man off the street, had taken him home and the two had sex; we see this film clip again and she continues to describe her sexual encounter saying it gave her goose bumps just to think about it. A woman in a film tells a man that her weekend had been awful because she had been forced to have sex multiple times with an older man and that she could not rest for a moment when the man was constantly pushing himself on top of her. An older man asks a woman if she thinks a couple in a film is interested in one another. While explaining the action of a film, a young man tells a blind older man that an older man and a woman had gotten into a fatal accident, after kissing, and that the last memory that the woman would have would be the feeling of the man's mouth.
► A woman enters a room where a man and a woman just had sex; she asks the man if he was planning on an "encore" and that he should be more careful about sleeping with people. A man tells a woman that he could have died from a heart attack after having such vigorous intercourse with her. A man remarks that he had never seen a man that was so obsessed with one woman. We overhear a phone conversation where a woman tells a man that she had caught her son wearing a dress. A woman shouts after another woman, saying, "You say love, I say sex!" A woman tells a man that she had "just been with" the man that she loves (implying intercourse). A woman calls another woman on the phone (presumably at an escort service). An older man jokes with a woman that he believes that his son is gay and that she should "be able to tell," explaining that he does not expect her to sleep with him. A woman confesses to having had a "quick fling" with a gay man. A woman tells a young man that she had an affair with a man who was his father, but the man does not know that the young man is his son. A woman tells another woman that she had a sexual encounter with a man she had just met on the street and the man asked if he could stay at her house, and the woman agreed.
► A man takes a photograph of a man and a woman kissing on the beach. A man and a woman lay in each others arms while watching a movie, and the actors in the movie are heard discussing how a man and a woman were found dead, but in one another's arms.
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- A man stands behind a woman at the top of a staircase and pushes her, causing her to fall down and crash at the bottom; she moans and attempts to move, the man rushes to her side, turns her over to reveal bloodied knees and legs, takes her to the hospital, and we hear that she has a broken leg (we see the woman using crutches, arm brace canes, a wheelchair, and we see large bruises on her legs and arms).
► A woman washes blood from a cut on her arm, a stream of blood is coming from one of her nostrils and down her face and onto her lips, and we hear that a man inflicted the wounds after an argument.
► A woman lunges at a young man holding a camera, she picks up a tripod and swings it at him, uses the tripod to pin him against a wall, and she begins to punch the camera, screaming that he must leave her alone. A woman violently attacks a young man (hitting him and shouting) in a film that the young man, the woman in the film and an older man are watching. As part of a scene being filmed for a movie, a crazed woman shoves another woman down the stairs, and we see it in slow motion.
► As a car with a man and a woman crosses an intersection, an SUV crashes into its side, a loud shriek is heard and the car is dragged across lanes of traffic and off-screen (we see this scene a few times).
► A man is seen lying in a hospital bed, with gauze wrapped around his head and eyes and a brace on his wrist.
► After noticing that a small amount of smoke is coming from a bed, a woman asks another woman if she had set her bed on fire, and she replies "fire cleanses." We see a man with an exaggerated expression on his face while he is pretending to be dead, a woman enters the room, sits down on the bed and the man spooks her when he yelps and grabs her arms.
► A woman sobs during a phone conversation with another woman, as she describes an elderly man unable to sleep through the night because he had been vomiting blood; the woman describes it as being like the man's "insides had exploded." A man thanks a woman he had pushed down the stairs for not telling people that he had pushed her; the woman tells him that he is never allowed to touch her again. A young man places his hand on the man's back and urges him to move, and the man shouts and refuses. A man angrily shouts at a woman. During a very intense discussion, a man tells a young man that he had never intended to kill another man. A woman reads aloud from a newspaper that a man has died and asks another man if he knows the deceased man. A man tells a woman that a person had died, the woman remarks that she knew the man had been ill, but that she did not know that he had died. A woman informs an older man and a young man that she had knowledge of the details behind a car accident. A man says that he had not been surprised when a woman had died in a car accident, since he also feels like he had died in the accident with her.
► A man tells a woman about a man who had abandoned his mentally challenged son, and the woman is moved to tears. A tearful woman tells a man that her father is suffering from stomach cancer and that he is being dismissed from the hospital since the cancer had spread. An older woman fights back tears as she tells a woman that a man is being dismissed from the hospital, sent to die at home, because his doctor is concerned that he will miss his vacation. A doctor tells three people that the man in his care was in very poor health, that he was going to do his best to make sure the man survived, but will have to wait to perform life-saving surgery. During a phone conversation, a woman tearfully tells an older man that her father is dying. A woman tells a man that her son had experienced problems breathing and the doctors are unable to determine the cause of his illness. While discussing the death of a woman, a man asks a woman if she had visited the deceased woman's grave. A young man tells a woman that he had an "accident" and that he would explain it later (no other details are provided). A woman tells another woman that she could have killed someone after the woman threw a large paperweight out a window. A man tells a woman that he could have died from a heart attack after having such vigorous intercourse with her. A young man dictates a story to an older man and describes a world where vampires have taken over blood donation centers and are using the blood to feed themselves; the main character is a female vampire who falls in love with a human male after she becomes aroused while drawing his blood. A man asks another man if he would be interested in writing a story about a struggle between a father and son, which will only resolve itself when the father dies and the son is able to find "salvation." A young man remarks that he had "pissed himself" because he was laughing so hard.
► Large screen-printed artwork of semi-automatic rifles and handguns are seen hanging in a man's home.
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- About 5 F-words and its derivatives, 1 scatological term, 7 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 11 sexual references, 3 derogatory terms for homosexuals, name-calling (monster, crazy, peeping tom, lunatic), 3 religious exclamations.
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- A young man drinks a beverage that has been laced with a drug that causes him to pass out and we hear that he recovers after being in a six-hour coma, a young man asks another young man if he would be interested in "some crystal," and then ducks behind the young man and pulls out a baggie of powder and places a drop of it in his mouth, a man tells a woman, "Your rails are done" as a plate with rows of cocaine is laid in front of her, a man says that he had received the nickname of "X" because he had taken a lot of ecstasy in the past, a young man grabs another young man's face and remarks that he is high on drugs, two young men are seen dipping their fingers in a white powder and putting them in their mouth, an older man asks a young man if he is feeling better after recovering from an accidental drug overdose, a woman places a box of pills (we later learn these are sleeping pills) into a blender of soup she is preparing for a man, a woman asks another woman if she could help her hide 30 lbs of uncut cocaine that a man had accidentally left in her closet, in a scene from a movie a woman tells another woman that she has 30lbs of uncut cocaine in a suitcase in her home and she is worried that the police will find it, and a woman warns another woman not to eat any soup because it had sleeping pills in it. A man takes a sip of an alcoholic drink in a couple of scenes, a man takes a sip of wine, a woman holds an alcoholic drink in her hand and takes a sip, a woman remarks that she feels slightly hung over, a waiter serves three people alcoholic drinks, a woman chugs an alcoholic drink and orders another, a man drinks a beer, and a young man holds a bottle of beer. A couple of men smoke cigarettes in several scenes, a woman smokes a cigarette in several scenes, and a man holds a burning cigarette.
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- Domestic physical and mental abuse, fidelity, stalking, spying, power, drug trafficking, family resentment, revenge, jealousy, infidelity, drug overdosing, death, blindness, coping with tragedy, disappointment, blindness, cancer, pseudonyms, homosexuality, death of a loved one.
- Healing takes time and patience.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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