Pedro Almodóvar’s latest is a poignant portrait of an aging director who hasn’t made a movie for years. The depressed filmmaker suffers from a smorgasbord of physical and psychological maladies and, in reconnecting with the star of one of his most celebrated films, begins to confront his past. Pain and Glory is a thinly disguised self-portrait that’s more overtly introspective than the Spanish maestro’s previous offerings. It may lack the mesmerising punk spirit of his earlier work, but Antonio Banderas is truly disarming as the Almodóvar alter-ego, and deservedly won Best Actor at Cannes for his efforts. All in all, what could have been a self-indulgent exercise is actually a quietly resonant, beautifully crafted story about the passing of time and the resilience of the creative spirit.
Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) | Directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain 2019) with Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia. Starts July 25.
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