Perhaps not as dazzling as Almodovar's masterpieces, this film is still an involving and sleekly well-made melodrama touching on his usual themes of romance, death and parentage. It also has some terrific noir touches as it dips into ambition and revenge.

Mateo (Homar) is a filmmaker who, after going blind, has locked himself in his Madrid flat writing scripts with Diego (Novas), son of his loyal agent (Portillo). Then he hears of the death of wealthy financier Ernesto (Gomez), who 14 years earlier had bankrolled a film project starring his trophy mistress Lena (Cruz), who was desperate to get out of the relationship. Back then, as Lena and Mateo started spending rather too much time together, Ernesto sent his teen son (Ochandiano) to follow them, ostensibly to film a making-of doc.

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