Monday, January 25, 2010

dinner and a movie: Broken Embraces

Welcome to my Monday morning recap of my Friday night. First, I see a movie at the Spectrum 8 Theater. Then, I meander two doors down and enjoy dinner at New World Bistro Bar, my favorite restaurant in Albany
.Broken Embraces
Broken Embraces is the latest film by one of my favorite directors, Pedro Almodovar. If you haven't seen his films (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Volver, Talk to Her and Bad Education), you really should.

Broken Embraces is classic Almodovar. It's a haunting story that slowly unfolds. It stars Penelope Cruz. It's visually haunting.

In the interest of maximum enjoyment, I'll tell you a little bit about the plot. It's the story of Harry Caine, a now blind writer living in Madrid in 2008. It's also the story of a film he made in 1994 before he was blind. The story flashes back and forth from the past to the present and then settles comfortably in the past to enlighten the audience. It's harrowing at times because the viewer cannot help but wonder how, when and why Harry loses his sight.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars) - nearly universally recommended.
Running Time: 128 minutes
Release date: It's in theaters now. Here's a map of where it's showing in the U.S. Not playing near you? Pre-order the dvd from Amazon.

In other exciting news, New World Bistro Bar launched their new winter menu Wednesday. One of the reasons it's my favorite restaurant is the chef's commitment to local, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Menu changes happen frequently, and the specials often include the freshest of the fresh.

I started my meal with an appetizer special: diver scallops with fresh fennel, hearts of palm, and grapefruit. They were divine. After sampling most of the new dishes earlier in the week, I stuck with my perennial favorite: mushroom risotto.

A fantastic film from one of my favorite directors and a wonderful meal make a lovely Friday night. Next Friday: nomadreaderboy has the night off, and we're looking forward to seeing Crazy Heart and having dinner together!

As an Amazon Associate, I will receive a small commission if you purchase this film through the above links. Thank you!

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