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‘Pain and Glory’: Subtlety and Depth from Antonio Banderas and Seasoned Director Almodóvar



official trailer for “pain and glory”

Indie Style all Grown up with Veteran Cast

Pedro Almodóvar is one of the most acclaimed Spanish filmmakers of the modern era. An Academy Award winning screenwriter and a nominee for best director, Almodóvar worked from the bottom-up, starting out poor and making independent films reflective of Spain’s counter-culture. 

Now, Almodóvar may be more established, but he still implements his signature indie style and personal narratives into his project. This is more apparent than ever before in his latest film “Pain & Glory,” which tells the story of a fictional movie director reflecting on his long life and prosperous career. 

The autobiographical inferences are countless in “Pain & Glory,” as the film is not only about Spanish cinema, but also deals with family, friendship, and a middle-aged perspective on life—the last of which may especially hit home for Almodóvar, who just turned seventy this past week.

Photo / Sony Pictures Classics

Penelope Crúz joins Banderas for possible renaissance accolades

Leading the film’s strong Latinx cast featuring Penelope Crúz, Asier Etxeandia, and Leonardo Sbaraglia, it is Antonio Banderas, who might be on the verge a mini-renaissance due to his starring role in Netflix’s much anticipated “The Laundromat.” 

Banderas’ performance in “Pain & Glory” has already received praise, winning him Best Actor at this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival. At the Festival, “Pain & Glory” also won the Cannes Soundtrack Award for composer Alberto Iglesias’ score and Almodóvar received nominations for the Palme d’Or and Queer Palm Awards. 

Coming from Spain, “Pain & Glory” is of course entirely in Spanish—its original title is “Dolor y Gloria.” An English subtitled version will debut in the U.S. this Friday. Although foreign language films do not always prosper in American theaters, perhaps the star power and hype around “Pain & Glory” will make it stand out. It is an exciting film that could even get some Oscar recognition, but at the very least, it is a fascinating form of self-expression from one of Spain’s most celebrated filmmakers alive today. 

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