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We loved it! The acting was superb. Poignant, riveting, heart-felt, honest.
An endearing look at a legend's life.
Pedro Almodóvar directs his own life story as a melodrama with changed names in his life affirming autobiographical drama Pain and Glory (2019). Almodóvar crafts a mesmerizing dreamscape of his life in retrospective in all his most anguished moments, while humbly glanced back at his past successes. His direction is peerless and unbelievably creative. Teresa Font's nonlinear editing works wonders here as you always know where there is a cut to a certain time period. The long take of Pedro's actor friend's monologue one man show is absolutely phenomenal directing. I felt like I was watching the opera illusion sequence from David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. I think Pain and Glory has given Volver a run for its money as Almodóvar's greatest film.
From eager youth to lonely man, Pain and Glory covers it all. Pedro's writing is heartfelt for all his dramatic moments, while hilarious in his dark humor here. I had no idea that Pedro Almodóvar was gay, let alone a heroin addict at one point. His life was tragic, but ends in happiness, so Pain and Glory does feel like Pedro Almodóvar is making peace with his past and finding solace for the future. He finds the most riveting way to connect emotions and scenes to colors like vivid reds and radiant greens. I love the way Pedro approaches directing as a way of life with fluid sequences and captivating emotions that stir your soul.
Alberto Iglesias' score adds another layer of moving warmth to Pain and Glory. Paola Torres' perfectly costumes the cast with outfits that look exactly like Pedro Almodóvar's iconic red suits and orange jackets. Alongside the make-up department, she transforms Antonio Banderas into the famous Spanish director in all his glory. José Luis Alcaine's cinematography frames each shot beautifully and thoughtfully to reflect Pedro's past as well as his present misery throughout the course of the film. The isolating shots are as striking as the comforting moments of companionship.
Antonio Banderas gives the most nuanced performance of his legendary career playing Pedro Almodóvar himself! Banderas brings a warmth and charisma to Pedro's cinematic character representation. He finds Pedro's heart and holds it out for the audience to gaze upon all his hopes and fears, loves and losses, addictions and conditions, or pain and glory. Banderas delivers plenty of dark humor flawlessly with a smooth playfulness only he could pull off. His dramatic moments where he is trying not to cry in front of his ex-lover are astoundingly real.
Penélope Cruz is captivating as Pedro's mother Jacinta. She respectfully depicts her as a hard working, brutally honest, and overwhelmed mother who had to deal with poverty and raising her son the best she could. Meanwhile, Julietta Serrano kills it as a feisty and blunt old Jacinta.
Asier Etxeandia gives both a very funny sidekick role to Banderas as an actor called Alberto Crespo as well as a riveting monologue that captures all of Pedro's frustrations and pains in one heavenly scene. Leonardo Sbaraglia is just a touching trying not to cry during this speech as Federico Delgado embodying a stand in for Pedro's past lover. Nora Navas is also compelling as Pedro's assistant and manager Mercedes. Asier Flores delivers a fantastic performance as young Pedro too! César Vicente is great as the illiterate painter student of young Pedro's named Eduardo. Lastly, Pedro got Rosalía for a cameo in the beginning as a laundress named Rosita for the keen eyed viewers.
Simply put, Pain and Glory is one of 2019's finest films with groundbreaking direction and effortless charm. The good humor and gentle retrospective on Pedro's life, love, and career makes for a delightful watch. I could have watched another 2 hours from the mighty Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar.
I’m trying to find something positive about the film, I would say Penelope Cruz’s performance was exceptional. Other than that “yawn” the movie is was too slow, the characters are dull, Banderas for BEST ACTOR please!!!! What a joke. A movie about addiction and an identity crises, I’ve seen too many films like this. What’s so special about this one? Nothing. It was shot in Spain which was nice. You get 1 star for that too! Watch moonlight instead, I didn’t think it was that great but next to this film it looks like “best picture”
Love Almodovar's movies! Loved this one!
A great movie about the aging process and addiction. Banderas was really strong in this role.
A lot of talking about heroine
This will end up being another one of Almodovar's classics. And Antonio's performance is intense.
Great performance in a typically great and emotionally involving film from Pedro Almodovar.
This was a beautiful account of a powerful writer who has become a heroin addict because of his many physical difficulties and an unfortunate encounter with an old enemyl who is an addicted actor. His final triumph and return to creativity is sparked by memories of his mother, his first encounter with desire, and most importantly, the brief return of his first great love. The returns to his memories are seamless, and each contains the seeds of the powerful flow of his life.
A small film that shows how small moments can leave big impacts on our lives.