Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” | DocMode
Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.”

Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” One of the quiet marvels of this understated yet often deeply moving film is how skillfully the filmmaker weaves together past and present. The first thing we see in “Pain and Glory” is a man sitting in a chair underwater, almost naked. The near-nakedness matters because it lets us see the surgical scar that runs from sternum to waist. We soon learn (in a deftly done animated sequence) about his health problems: insomnia, depression, a spinal fusion, asthma, mysterious coughing fits, and pretty much constant pain. That first word in the title of “Pain and Glory” is no metaphor. This is a very medical movie. Along with reflectiveness and (relative) quietude, health issues are part of the film’s septuagenarian side. Salvador is a famous film director. Playing him is Antonio Banderas. The performance won Banderas the best actor award at Cannes this year. He brings an easy authority to the role.

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