ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – Pain and Glory (2019) Movie Review

Director: Pedro Almodovar

Writer: Pedro Almodovar (Screenplay)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Nora Navas, Julieta Serrano, Cesar Vicente, Asier Flores

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

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Life Drama

Story: Pain and Glory starts as we meet film director Salvador Mallo (Banderas) whose most famous film ‘Sabor’ is being honoured, it is one of his films he never truly enjoyed until recently, which makes him start to look back at his life as a children in near poverty, where is mother Jacinta (Cruz) did everything she could to keep him happy and now Salvador must rebuild the bridge with the star of the movie Alberto (Etxeandia) after they fell out after the film was made.

Salvador’s latest work is must more personal story form his younger years, with his own former lover Federico (Sbaraglia) being the man that helped him become the star he would, understand why he was always more against the drug lifestyle that Alberto was involved in.

Thoughts on Pain and Glory

Characters – Salvador Mallo is a director who has lost his motivation, he is questioning the decisions he once made, even though his films are held in high regard, add in the illness and wear and tear his body is going through, he is wondering if his legacy is what he wants it to be, be it the relationship he once had with his lead, his mother and many other parts of his life. Alberto Crespo was the star of the hit movie, the two fell out because of his addiction, which caused the rift between the two, now he gets a chance to make up with Salvador who understand his own errors of the way. Federico is the former lover of Salvador, somebody who motivated him to create the work he has become famous for. Jacinta is Salvador’s mother that has always encouraged him to improve himself in life.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas is fantastic in the leading role and you can see why he got nominated for an Oscar. Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Penelope Cruz are excellent in the supporting roles too.

StoryThe story here follows an aging film director that is looking back at his own career and life, wondering if he made the right decisions, which sees him looking to write his own story. The idea that we jump between different moments in his life and the ones he sees being important from his childhood, to making up with his former co-star, shows how you can always reflect on certain moments in life. It does show us how an artist might not always be happy with his work too, which shows us just how you can often be your biggest critic in life.

SettingsThe film does show us just how far Salvador has come in life, from his poverty like raising to his celebrity status.


Scene of the Movie – Final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Sometimes the time jumps happen too often.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant drama that shows how difficult looking back on your life can always make you question what you did, despite not being able to change it.

Overall: Wonderful Drama.

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