Skip to main content

Antonio Banderas, left, as Salvador, and Julieta Serrano as Jacinta in Pain and Glory.

Sony Pictures Classics / Mongrel Media

  • Pain and Glory
  • Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar
  • Starring: Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz
  • Classification: R; 113 minutes

rating

Toward the end of this slight but entertaining bit of meta from Pedro Almodovar, a film director’s old mother tells her son that her neighbours back in the village are sick of seeing themselves portrayed in his movies. Enough of the autofiction, she says. That’s one of several wry in-jokes in Almodovar’s sentimental look at artistic inspiration, said to be only lightly inspired by his own life. Antonio Banderas plays an aging gay filmmaker with numerous ailments and a creative block that is cleared by a daisy chain of coincidental encounters with figures from his past.

Reviews of movies opening this week, including the anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit, suffocating The Lighthouse and sentimental Pain and Glory

Penelope Cruz plays Salvador's mother in rose-tinted flashbacks.

Sony Pictures Classics / Mongrel Media

Penelope Cruz plays his mother in rose-tinted flashbacks – well, they are his memories, why shouldn’t they be nostalgic? – while in the present even a brush with heroin addiction can’t dampen Almodovar’s signature blend of melodrama, humour and gorgeous colours. Asier Etxeandia occasionally threatens to steal the show with his delicious turn as an exuberant addict, but perhaps the bravest thing here is Banderas’s reserved performance: Selfish, hypochondriac and sadly cocooned, his fictional film director is not a flattering portrait of an aging auteur.

Pain and Glory opens Oct. 25 in Toronto and Ottawa

Story continues below advertisement

Live your best. We have a daily Life & Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter