Sunday, January 17, 2010

Supporting Actress Blogathon: Carmen Machi in Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos)

This is part of the Supporting Actress Class-Of-2009 Blogathon hosted by StinkyLulu. For more great entries go here.

Keeping with the tradition, here at CLNY we’re continue to honor those performances of supporting acctress in a Spanish-languague movie in our favorite category: “obscure, ineligible, and no-chance-in-hell.” Just like in ’07 and ’08, that honor goes to another Spanish actress that you might know by now. For your consideration: Carmen Machi in Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos).

Without a doubt, Chicas y Maletas (Girls & Suitcases) is the best thing that Almodóvar did in his latest film (now playing in the States) and that distinction is because funny lady Carmen Machi is phenomenal, refreshing and fun to watch. In this little segment towards the end, la Machi plays Chon, an impeccably dressed and little chubby counselor for Social Affairs at City Hall who’s friends with Penélope’s character. She’s telling her about having just bumped into a very good looking well-hung guy that had been watching her on the street. “I took him home and screwed him over and over”, she says. “He’s the kind of guy who knows how to drive a woman mad with pleasure!”

Here Almodóvar channels his own creativity, or clichés … but for good. A little bit of Pepi, Luci, Bom and Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and we’re in. Chicas & Maletas could have been an excellent comeback to his cinematic roots, but he rather teases us with just a few minutes of great comedy and classic Almodovarian elements: two abandoned women, a succulent gazpacho (with an entire box of downers!), and two suitcases (one with 15 kilos of cocaine, uncut!).

The entire scene is crazy, thanks to the lovely Machi. She’s already a superstar in her native Spain, and her film career is just taking over. With Almodóvar, Machi proves that she can bring his most outrageous vision to life. Pedro, por favor she deserves an entire movie. She's talented, funny, and divina.

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