Pain and Glory (2019)

Pedro Almodóvar directs Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia and Penélope Cruz in this semi-autobiographical drama where a reclusive director opens up old friendships, addictions and memories.

I’m not Almodóvar’s biggest fan. The high camp of his most lauded works irritates me and it usually is the films of his that wander away from his unique brand of screeching, lurid melodrama that I prefer. I’m happy knowing that his house style isn’t for me, but respect his four decades strong oeuvre. To make works so idiosyncratic and personal with such regularity and consistency demands respect. This slightly more staid, seemingly directionless drama did more for me. I liked the various soapy strands and felt Banderas gives a career best performance. Pain and Glory moves a lot slower than you standard Almodóvar release, but I accessed the romance and transgressiveness of it easier than some of his more bludgeoning tour de farces.

7

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