While experiencing a creative crisis, acclaimed film director Salvador Mallo looks to his past to try to make sense of his present. Pedro Almodóvar’s most personal film was warmly received by critics and resulted in a Best Actor award at Cannes for Antonio Banderas, who plays Mallo.
A frail and sensitive boy living with his mother in Valencia, the protagonist soon discovers that he is different from most people he knows, and turns to art in the hope of avoiding social pressure. What follows is a sequence of encounters, break-ups, and disappointments: lot of pain and a little bit of glory.
Savador Mallo (Banderas) might sound like an anagram of Almodóvar, and some episodes in the film do look as if they might have been based on Pedro Almodóvar’s own life, however Pain ang Glory is not exactly autobiographical. Almodóvar plays with the viewer: rather than telling the story of his life, he once again and with utmost sincerity revisits questions that have occupied him for a considerable time. Pain and Glory is a homage to Fellini’s 8 ½, and also forms a strong ending to the trilogy that started with Law of Desire (1987) and continued with Bad Education (2004). The film premiered at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, where Antonio Banderas received the award for Best Actor.
Pain and Glory
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Spain, 2019. 113’ 18+