At A Glance
Antonio Banderas delivers a smouldering, skilful performance filled with grace and pathos as he portrays a seasoned film director with ailing health. Suffering too with writers block, we journey with him, fluctuating between his past and present in order for him to reconcile with his own personal history. Director Pedro Almodóvar’s originality and creativity is as prevalent as ever, as he sumptuously captures depth of character and unashamedly shows our frailties. Pain and Glory is a triumph.
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Written by Pedro Almodóvar
Released by 20th Century Fox UK, Pathe UK
2019, 113 minutes
In UK Cinemas 23rd August
Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo
Penélope Cruz as Jacinta
Asier Etxeandia as Alberto Crespo
Leonardo Sbaraglia as Federico Delgado
Nora Navas as Mercedes
Julieta Serrano as Jacinta
César Vicente as Eduardo
Asier Flores as Salvador Mallo
Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria) UK Premiere
8th August, 2019 and Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset House was the perfect location to host the UK Premiere of Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria), the new film from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. The intimate red carpet was attend by Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and Almodóvar himself.
Huge admirers of the director Premiere Scene’s Claire Bueno and Anthony Bueno ask Pedro Almodóvar about this personal story in which he replicates his own home for the movie, Antonio Banderas about his portrayal of the director, and Penelope Cruz about representing the director’s mother for the big screen.
Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria) review
By Claire Bueno
Pedro Almodóvar never fails to disappoint, his stories are original and are always a rewarding watch. But can it be remotely possible that with Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria), the director may have even surpassed himself.
The story revolves around a character called Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas). Mallo is a seasoned Spanish film director, and through an accumulation of numerous ailments, the highly acclaimed filmmaker has retreated from public life, work, only to find himself in a melancholic state. Psychologically unwilling and unable to create, he spends much his time idling away, busy doing nothing.
When his 30 year old film is remastered, Mallo is invited along to the screening, which semi-reluctantly forces him to reach out to the film’s lead actor Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia). Their relationship had soured after the actor had arrogantly took his own direction relating to the portrayal of his character. Never the less Mallo rises above his years of indignation and approaches the actor, offering him the white flag. This reunion triggers a chain of events leading the forlorn filmmaker on the path of self-salvation.
The film is not a direct auto-biography, but Almodóvar has tapped into aspects of his life to help formulate the story. One lovely little nugget is that the set designers replicated Almodóvar’s home to become Salvador Mallo’s safe haven, even Antonio Banderas wore some of Almodóvar’s clothes. But for the actor who garnered the best actor award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of Mallo, it was all about capturing the inner life of the filmmaker, and by golly doesn’t he do that?!
Banderas’ commitment and conviction is mesmerising. His tiniest gestures, speak volumes, there are so many evocative moments that fill you with such emotion. It’s a standout performance of standout performances.
Indeed full credit must be given to Asier Etxeandia, Penélope Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Leonardo Sbaraglia whose screen presence and authenticity is electrifying.
The story is set in present day Madrid, but in various ways we are transported back to Mallo’s modest childhood in 1960’s Valencia, and we learn of his turbulent love affair with Federico Delgado (Leonardo Sbaraglia) in 80s Madrid. All these reminiscences reveal an interesting observation. How people enter into our lives, influence us and the choices we make, which ultimately we have to live with.
“Without film my life is meaningless,” states Salvador Mallo. It’s a powerful line of dialogue, and although Almodóvar no doubt has a full, exuberant life, the sentiment conveyed is profound; and feels it does demonstrate the director’s love of the medium.
Delicately and sensitivity Pedro Almodóvar traverses through a man’s life as he reconciles with his past, his present, but ultimately himself.
With addiction too being an interwoven theme in the film, may I recommend you get your movie fix and go see Pain and Glory.