Pain and Glory

Pain and Glory

Pedro Almodóvar (2019)

113min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
An ailing middle-aged director looks back on his life to evade a creative impasse in this seemingly self-referential drama from Pedro Almodóvar, long established as Spain's leading film-maker. Sporting the same coiffed hair as Almodóvar himself, Antonio Banderas delivers a restrained, moving performance as a lonely maverick exploring family and emotional ties while various physical ailments leave him unable to work. A cinematheque screening of an early career triumph enables him to rebuild his friendship with a former leading man, but the pain of lost love and conflicted feelings over his relationship with his late mother aren't so easy to resolve. His addiction to film-making remains the one constant in his life, and, as the cleverly constructed story snakes back and forth from present travails to Fellini-esque memories (with Penélope Cruz as his long-suffering young mum), everything we see is invested with feeling - yet underplayed in a manner untypical of the Almodóvar oeuvre. While we're never quite sure how much is direct autobiography, the result is revealing, hugely emotive and arguably his most mature work to date.

Cast & Crew

Salvador Mallo Antonio Banderas
Alberto Crespo Asier Etxeandia
Federico Leonardo Sbaraglia
Mercedes Nora Navas
Jacinta (old) Julieta Serrano
Eduardo César Vicente
Savlador as a boy Asier Flores
Jacinta (young) Penélope Cruz
Director Pedro Almodóvar
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Other Information

Language: Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxReleased on: 23 Aug 2019