A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
The protagonist of "Pain and Glory" was at the decline of his career. The man involuntarily looks back into the past, and a stream of vivid memories falls upon him. He recalls such moments from his youth as tender feelings for his mother, love and separation, the search for happiness and success. All this leads the master of cinema to important thoughts about life and art, because this is the most important thing for him.Written by
With this gorgeous and unashamedly autobiographical memory piece, Pedro Almodóvar returns to his very best form and certainly gives us his best film in over a decade. "Pain and Glory" finds director Salvador Mallo, (Antonio Banderas in a career-best performance and clearly modelled on Almodóvar), looking back over his life and loves as he deals with his addictions, his chronic pain and a newfound appreciation of his work. It's a film that is both honest and deeply moving but one that is often very funny, too. Almodóvar wouldn't be who he is without that wicked sense of humour that made his early films so enjoyable but this is an altogether deeper and more profound film than anything he's done in years.
Cross-cutting between his childhood with a loving mother, (Penelope Cruz, wonderful), and a largely absent father and his present as he revisits his past in the form of the men in his life, the actor who once let him down and to whom he hasn't spoken in 30 years and the former lover who comes to visit. Salvador is a man determined to lay his ghosts to rest as I am sure Almodóvar wants to here. Banderas, as I said, has never been better and as the men in his life, Asier Etxeandia (the actor), Leonardo Sbaraglia, (the lover) and Cesar Vicente, (the boy who becomes Salvador's 'First Desire') are all outstanding while both Cruz and Julieta Serrano perfectly capture his mother at different stages in his life. This is a remarkable film from a great director too long absent from our screens and one we thought long past his best. This is proof he's home and hopefully, home for good.
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