#TIFF19: “PAIN AND GLORY”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) is an aging Film Director living with a wide variety of ailments and regrets. He wants to continue to make new films, but cannot find the strength or reason to do so. After one of his most popular films is re-released, he encounters long forgotten friends and memories, and starts to depend a bit too much on heroin.
From the very first frame, Pain and Glory feels like a lived-in and deeply personal experience. You can practically see Director Pedro Almodóvar excising his skeletons and reliving his childhood in real time. The visuals are luscious and splendid, the use of colour is exceptional and brilliant, the Cast is terrific, the score is affecting and…well, you get the point. This is an absolutely gorgeous film to watch and a genuinely sumptuous visual feast. And the glue holding the whole enterprise together is Banderas, putting in career best work as Almodóvar’s big screen conduit. His work here is emotional and transcendent, commanding the attention of everyone around him. It is a largely understated and quiet role, but the intimacy Banderas brings to it makes it feel so much grander. Do not be surprised if the Academy take notice.
PAIN AND GLORY screens during TIFF at the following times:
Friday September 6, 5:30pm @ Ryerson Theatre
Saturday September 7, 2:45pm @ Scotiabank Theatre