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Pain and Glory

Rated 14 Accompaniment

(Coarse Language, Nudity, Substance Abuse) 113 minutes

Dir: Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, 2019
Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia

In Spanish with English subtitles

Cannes Festival Winner, Best Actor, Best Soundtrack

“A gorgeously crafted memoir of a jaded filmmaker past his prime, Pain And Glory could be Pedro Almodóvar’s most autobiographical work since Law Of Desire. The grand irony, of course, is that there’s nothing jaded about the filmmaking on display: it’s drenched in a passion for cinema and shows Almodóvar at the peak of his powers. There’s no sense of waning creativity, only a mood of longing and nostalgia that’s unmistakeably from a deeply personal place. You could call it Almodóvar’s Cinema Paradiso. The man at its heart is Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas, winner of the Best Actor prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival), a Madrid filmmaker suffering from all sorts of aches, pains and maladies that make him a prisoner in his own body. He questions his mortality as a matter of routine, but his immortality – professionally, at least – is guaranteed by Taste, an arthouse smash from the ’80s that’s being celebrated with an upcoming screening. He’s been invited, along with the film’s star Alberto Crespo... The wrinkle is that the pair fell out while making the movie and haven’t spoken since... Banderas is terrific... He inhabits the character with a sense of haunted distraction; a man in his sixties belatedly trying to reconcile with his earlier life and clear his emotional debts. Pain And Glory dips repeatedly into Salvador’s past, with old memories floating through the film like a breeze through an open window... Almodóvar fills this poignant tapestry of recollections with bold colours and infuses them with emotional detail. It’s a deeply intimate experience and it’ll pierce your heart.” – Josep Lambies, Time Out