Pain & Glory Review

*Not much to spoil here

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IMDB Synopsis

A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.

As promised in my review of Parasite, I have seen more foreign movies! You want to here a crazy thing I have learned? Movies made by foreign Directors are pretty great still if the Director is skilled. I know insane take right?

Pain & Glory is the new movie by Pedro Almodovar who like Bong Joon-ho is someone that the more I read about, the more impressed I am. From the outset of this movie you can tell this guy has an immense amount of skill behind the camera and with his words. It is his words that lead us through a non linear tale of the mid life crisis of Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas). We see Salvador go through bouts with drugs, sexuality, and immense pain throughout his body. We also get to see flashbacks sprinkled in throughout that give us more insight into what led Salvador to this point in his life.

This is a movie that will not be for everyone, and that is not just because it is in Spanish. This is a deep character study into a man with extreme emotional and physical pain. Almodovar really holds nothing back and allows us to feel what Salvador is feeling throughout the entire story. It is a hard watch but ultimately it is satisfying.

Stock Watch

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Stock Up – Antonio Banderas is on fire right now. He was hilarious with Gary Oldman in The Laundromat and now he is trying to make an Oscar push with this performance. He really gives his entire body for this role and I tip my hat to him. I especially enjoyed every scene where he was on Heroin because he never over acted and he just felt like the addict his character was.

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Stock Up – Asier Etxeandia is someone I had never seen in a movie before, but holy hell was he incredible in this. His scene where he performs Salvador’s play is some of the best acting I have seen all year. Gripping, powerful, and intoxicating are the only ways to really describe his performance.

*A couple other tidbits

  • Penelope Cruz as the mom was wonderful even with limited screen time.
  • What happened to the Dad? Did I miss that?
  • The Salvador and tutor relationship was definitely weird.

This movie is more about Almodovars skill as a Director, and Banderas skill as an actor more than a big entertaining movie. This is an intimate character study that is extremely well made and sometimes that is OK for a night at the Cinema.

Juice Rating:

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*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here

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