Pain & Glory (2019)
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
With Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Penélope Cruz
Rated R, 113 minutes, DCP
In Spanish with English subtitles
Antonio Banderas received the Best Actor Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal here as a Salvador Mallo, a gay film director in failing health who reflects on his life and work and a 1:1 stand-in for Almodóvar with the film calling out direct allusions to Fellini's 8½.
Mallo retraces his life: his childhood in the 60s, his first adult love in the Madrid of the 80s, the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense, writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the void, the infinite void created by the incapacity to keep on making films.
The film, like Fellini's own autobiographical reflection, talks with utter sincerity about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from one's own life, and about the passions that give it meaning and hope.
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