Pain and Glory

January 29, 2020

Antonio Banderas plays a celebrated filmmaker, Salvador Mallo, who has not made a film in decades. Salvador’s body is falling apart: terrible back pain, horrible migraines, and terrifying panic attacks that make him choke. The source of this pain is unclear, but the medicine to ease it seems to be found in the artful arrangement of memories from a sensual childhood, full of light and desire. Or is it a nostalgic take on a life that was tainted by poverty and abandonment? Can fiction and imagination enchant life? Does making art – pictures, sounds, stories – take the misery away, like the heroin Salvador experiments with?

Pain and Glory, the “vibrant confessional drama” (New York Times) from filmmaker Pedro Almodovár, asks these questions by creating a blur between autobiography and reverie. The film, despite its gloomy synopsis, is not anchored in realism: it is full of cinematic colours, and light shines everywhere the camera takes the viewer. Banderas, who has starred in no less than 8 films directed by Almodovár over 22 years, won Best Actor in Cannes (2019) and he is nominated for a Golden Globe.

Spain
Spanish with English subtitles
Rated: PG
113 minutes
4 - 5:53 & 7 - 8:53

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