Antonio Banderas delivers a stand-out performance as filmmaker Salvador Mallo in Pain and Glory as the film hits up the fall film festivals.
A winner of Best Actor at Cannes, Pain and Glory hits both Telluride and Toronto on its way to a theatrical release in October. Pedro Almodóvar turns in a bold script here. Put it this way–hours after watching the film, I still struggled with what to say about it. On the one hand, the film feels like it’s autobiographical at times. After all, it is about a filmmaker!
We see Salvador (Antonio Banderas as an adult) in various stages of his life. He was a very smart child even though he became a soloist in the choir and didn’t really have to take classes. He would go about learning geography during his filmmaking career as a result.
What really gets things going is when the cinema wants to put on a retrospective screening of Sabor as a part of its Madrid series. The main problem with this is that neither Salvador nor star Alberto Crespo (Asier Exteandía) have talked to each other in ages. Alberto, a drug addict, didn’t perform the part as written. While Salvador didn’t exactly hold a grudge, they didn’t part on good terms.
There’s a segment here involving Alberto, Federico (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and Salvador. Not only is it well-acted but every aspect of filmmaking works out in its favor. This particular segment revolves around a monologue titled The Addiction. Federico, who knew Antonio from an earlier time in Madrid, recognized himself almost immediately.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Pedro Almodóvar
CAST: Antonio Banderas, Asier Exteandía, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Nora Navas, Julieta Serrano, and Penélope Cruz