• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:March 5, 2021

Pain and Glory

32 years after making his most famous movie, director Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) suffers from bad health, ponders his childhood and reconnects with an actor (Asier Etxeandia) with whom he’s always had a testy relationship. Obviously inspired not only by his own life, career and relationships, Pedro Almodóvar has made a drama that also has discreet nods to classic films that were part of his cinematic education. Along for the journey are several actors whom we’ve come to identify intensely with Almodóvar; Banderas is excellent. Poignant, perceptive entertainment for an audience who, much like the director, has been around for a while.

2019-Spain. 113 min. Color. Produced by Agustín Almodóvar, Ricardo Marco Budé, Ignacio Salazar-Simpson. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Music: Alberto Iglesias. Production Design: Antxón Gómez. Cast: Antonio Banderas (Salvador Mallo), Asier Etxeandia (Alberto Crespo), Leonardo Sbaraglia (Federico Delgado), Nora Navas, Julieta Serrano, Penélope Cruz. 

Trivia: Original title: Dolor y gloria. Serrano also played Banderas’s mother in two earlier films, Matador (1986) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988).

Cannes: Best Actor (Banderas), Soundtrack. European Film Awards: Best Actor (Banderas), Production Design.

Last word: “[Almod√≥var and I]¬†have been friends since 1980, so that‚Äôs almost 40 years now. The most difficult thing was, how am I going to be able to play him without imitating him? For me that was very important. I went to him like a plain soldier: I took off my medals; I took off everything and I tried to be as naked as I could, to create from scratch, with no mannerisms that I was using before, the things that you know as an actor work for you. That is very painful. You are in a very uncomfortable place. All of those comfort zones I eliminated, and then we started.” (Banderas, Variety)



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