Genre: Drama. Dir: Pedro Almodóvar. Country: Spain / France. English subtitles.
Pedro Almodóvar reunites with Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz in his most personal film yet: a gorgeous reflection on cinema, art, family, love, and sexual awakening. Banderas, in one of his very finest performances, plays Salvador Mallo, who has a fair few things in common with Pedro Almodóvar. Suffering from a range of health issues, Salvador finds himself in a creative rut. He lacks the physical strength to make a film, and this inability to create makes him more depressed. This artistic limbo leads Salvador to reflect on his life, his loves and his films.
Pain and Glory goes back in time to Salvador’s childhood, where he was raised, in poverty, in a cave modelled into a house by his doting mother (played superbly by Cruz). In the present, a reunion with an actor he has long been estranged from leads to an addiction to heroin. Amidst the pain, there are thoughts of past glories, and those hopefully to come, in a film that arrives at a resolute position of hope. As always, there is a meticulous attention to detail, and images and moments that make you swoon in the distinctive way that only a Pedro Almodóvar film can.
“one of Almodovar’s greatest films” – Rolling Stone
“marvellously framed and composed, comparatively restrained for him, hugely enjoyable moment by moment.” – London Evening Standard
“graced with career-best work from Antonio Banderas.” – Empire Magazine