“Best Foreign Film of the year” – Kathy Kaiser, Matineechat.com
PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)– Rated R – 1 HR. 53 mins. – Spanish Foreign Film
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Pedro Almodovar
STARRING: Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia, and Asier Flores
As we meet Film Director Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), he is trying to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer engrossed in “his passion of life”, telling stories through film. When Salvador is asked to present about his most famous film to date, he struggles with taking on such an event, with his failing health, and the fact that it seems he is going to have to reach out to the tempestuous actor that he cast within the film, Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia).
As Salvador struggles to make a new life for himself, both personally, and professionally, it seems that the circumstances that are evolving, are causing him to reflect heavily on his life as a boy, thus bringing much solace to his life, and the path that he must take…
I give PAIN AND GLORY a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! Based on Director/Writer Pedro Almodovar’s own self-reflections, this one-minute poetic, and the next minute rather tragic tale of one man’s struggle to find peace and happiness in his “later years”, is one of masterful storytelling, and beautiful cinematography. Banderas’s performance is truly spectacular, as he brings a tranquil and authentic quality to almost every frame of this film. And this very-real storyline, focusing on the choices made – good or bad – throughout life, will cause you too, to stop and take account of your own choices in life too. Cruz is also perfectly cast as the mother figure throughout this film, adding to its depth and sincerity throughout, as we experience her nurturing ways, and the exceptional beauty she brings to the screen this time around too. And Etxeandia’s performance, opposite Banderas, and flying solo as well, is also masterful, and enjoyable to view. Almodovar should be proud of his latest creation, because as Foreign Film’s go, this one is absolutely beautiful in every way, as it transports you more and more into the frailties of life, with each passing frame…