Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline, reencounters or remembers his past: his childhood in a village, the first desire, his first adult love in 80s Madrid, the pain of that breakup. In recovering his past, Salvador finds the urgent need to recount it, and also finds his salvation.
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As a film about filmmaking, Pain and Glory pivots on the mechanics of how screenwriting becomes cinema. Its meta-cinematic ending rivals Little Women’s but refuses to try to impress anyone watching it.
Pedro's second old-soul movie in a row is a winding tale of art & life getting so tangled together you can't tell which is imitating which. A film director, the real people who inspired him, the actors who reinterpret—this is familiar Almodovar ground, but the weight of time feels new. Its main idea is that, for any artist, a life story doesn't belong to you alone. Which is why it's Antonio's movie as much as his.
[UCI El Corte] À la Recherche du temps Perdu via una gota de caballo. In the end your mama will be indifferent to your achievements, your monster love will go to another country, have children+that's that and El deseo will feel like a heatstroke you thought you were over with. Karma, soul diseases y asma intrínseca will bring ya back to reality. 20 years into his work this tastes like adios amigxs. No me dejes crl</3
I haven't seen much of Almodóvar's current works (starting with VOLVER) until viewing this one last night in which he explores the past & present of a filmmaker (Banderas in a fine performance) picking up his pieces (good & bad) while making a huge comeback as the film's title says it all. May not be a new favorite of mine from him, although I can still say it's his most okay film he's done in recent times.
A tribute to Banderas really (and a rehabilitation), this autobiographical film creates a seemingly flat narrative, the rhythmic qualities of which are allocated to the chromatic perfectionism of Almodovar and to the set design and costumes. This salutory gesture towards life is candidly disclosed and the director's fallibility, frailty, desire and depression are tellingly conveyed, despite the withdrawn reticence.
After the first 40 minutes kind of wasted in husky-voiced bad acting and barely interesting plot, both Almodóvar and Banderas make a u-turn and deliver their best and most revelatory work in decades bringing a definitive work of autofiction with a particular cadence and editing that only works because it is directed by someone who truly knows and loves melodramas, the good kind.
Pedro straddles the current moment, fully in command, if sufficiently loose w/ the reins as to allow us to apprehend that in this world you are a co-pilot at best. An actress playing the imago tells an Antonio Banderas playing a surrogate that she learned the word "autoficition," which she's just used, from one of his interviews. Gates open. If time breaks things down, in might also be our only shot at meaning.
2.5 Title is terrible. Should have been "The First Desire." Glad to see Banderas act with such subtlety. Wish the script had been more than a character study. Lots of the usual fantastically colorful sets and costumes, but without a plot that could be sustained for almost two hours. Got antsy and wished he'd OD on heroin and put us all out of our misery. The reunion scene was perfectly lovely.
Antonio Banderas gives the performance of his career in this brilliant film that transcends the medium and Fellini's 8 1/2. Almodovar proves once again that he is one of the greatest filmmakers to ever live. Almodovar is the cinema.