Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) 15

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DIRECTOR Pedro Almodóvar
CAST Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia

Pedro Almodóvar’s best film in years is a semi-autobiographical story about ageing film director Salvador (Antonio Banderas).

Pedro Almodóvar’s best film in years is a semi-autobiographical story about Salvador (Antonio Banderas, who won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for this role), a film director in physical and artistic decline. A 30th anniversary screening of one of his best-loved works reunites Sal with the film’s capricious leading man, to whom he has not spoken since they fell out on set. This encounter prompts him to recall the highs and lows of his past – a tumultuous childhood with his mother (Penélope Cruz), his first love affair in 80s Madrid, his early discovery of cinema – and reluctantly confront his own mortality.
(2019 Spain 113 mins Subtitled)

A mature work of meticulously tuned metafiction, erupting with so many of the director’s signature touches — bold colors, passionate embraces, and copious references to his cinematic inspirations (from Liz Taylor to Fellini), all wrapped up in what is Alberto Iglesias’ best score — while making a conscious decision to reject broad melodrama in pursuit of a subtler, more direct form of authenticity. “Subtlety” isn’t a word one typically associates with Almodóvar (and even then, it’s only relative to the stylistic extravagance of his uniquely over-the-top oeuvre). Even so, it’s a welcome new mode in which to see him operate, trusting honesty over theatrics.  Peter Debruge, Variety

Language: Spanish

BBFC advice: Contains drug misuse
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