Pain and Glory
[Dolor y gloria], directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Spain 2019, 113'
Pain and Glory is by far the most personal of all of Almodóvar’s films, and at the same time, as the world’s critics emphasize – the best film of his career. The work – full of passion as well as emotion and on par with Fellini’s 8 1⁄2 – impresses with its visual sensitivity and in a brilliant way combines sensibility with humor.
The film’s main protagonist is Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a cult Spanish film director who avoids the media and strongly protects his privacy. After many years, he finds people who have had the greatest impact on his life, as well as re-lives the most significant moments of his past. He returns to his childhood, where together with his parents they moved to a small town in search of prosperity. He brings back to the surface images of his first infatuation, first great love and pain of separation. He recalls a meeting with a cinema that has become the sense of his life for years. By returning to the most intense experiences of the past, Salvador finds the strength to face the present. Will he be able to close the unfinished matters of the past that are demolishing his well-organized everyday life?