Pain & Glory

“Pedro Almodóvar has found a more intensely personal register than ever for his tender new movie about an ageing film director in retreat from his profession, facing ill health, depression and the decline of his powers.

“Antonio Banderas steps up to the role he was born to play, though without the giveaway snowy pompadour. He is Salvador Mallo, a movie director who has not made anything for years but who has accumulated enough money to live in comfort among expensive artworks, brooding on his various ailments – headaches, backaches, a tendency to choke on any solid food – and general depression; all of these having some mysterious cause-or-effect relationship with his creative block.

“A chance meeting reconnects him with former star actor Alberto (Asier Etxeandia); they quarrelled decades ago while making his masterpiece. Dishevelled Alberto introduces Salvador to heroin.

“As ever, cinematographer José Luis Alcane and production designer Antxón Gómez give the film a wonderful richness and warmth, the colours swarming and popping. Pain and Glory leaves you with a sweet sadness, but a sharp appetite for the next film.” - The Guardian

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