Pain and Glory
Dolor y gloria
Panorama | Special Presentations
A new film from Spanish master Pedro Almodóvar is always an event, but there’s something especially bittersweet here, served up alongside the visual pleasures that are such a signature of his work. For one thing it marks a reunion between the director’s first alter ego, Antonio Banderas, who became a star via his mid-80s work with the director, and Almodóvar himself - and both are 35 years older… In a whirlwind of self-reflexivity, Banderas, riffing on Almodóvar right down to the curly salt-and-pepper hair - and giving the performance of his career in the process - plays Salvador Mallo, a film director depressed by his mother’s death, suffering from the aftereffects of back surgery, and, basically, at the end of his tether. Frustrated by his inability to make films and facing his own mortality, he sees a chance to reunite with a former lover, the actor Alberto (Asier Etxeandia) with whom he rose to fame, as both a possibility for redemption and a potentially disastrous journey through the past. Both deeply moving and, as with every Almodóvar film, wistfully funny, Pain and Glory shows that the master is still in peak form.
"As ever, Almodóvar has made a film about pleasure, which is itself a pleasure: witty, intelligent and sensuous. It is about love, memory, art, mothers, lovers and most of all it is about itself… the film within a film, the story within a story, the dream within a dream." - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Best Actor, Cannes 19