Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star in one of Almodóvar’s most personal works.
Director Salvador Mallo (Banderas at his very best) is so preoccupied by various physiological and psychological ailments that he’s put his career on hold. Then a retrospective of his work leads him not only to remember his past, but to contact the long-estranged lead actor of an early seminal work... a troubled reunion with unexpected, fateful consequences.
Almodóvar, who also wrote the screenplay, is here at his most mature and reflective, exploring the lore of desire, creativity, addiction and memory through a single, somewhat self-centred character. Bold in its narrative structure, restrained yet expressive in its colours and compositions, and with intense, naturalistic performances, this is exemplary film artistry.
“Everything about Pain and Glory is awake and alive, and Almodóvar's nerve endings become ours, too.” – STEPHANIE ZACHAREK, TIME MAGAZINE