Pain and Glory. 2019. Spain. Directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar. With Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia. 114 min.
Pedro Almodóvar, in a late-career masterwork, has created a prismatic reflection on his own life. It is both a deeply personal journey and an act of liberation. Antonio Banderas’s rapturous portrayal of an aging auteur is both agonizing and inspiring (he delivers one of the most romantically charged scenes in many years), and Penelope Cruz exudes sweet determination as his beloved mother. Pain and Glory is above all an exquisite showcase for the transcendent talent of Pedro.