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TIFF 2019 Review: Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory

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An ageing famous Spanish filmmaker is debilitated by physical pain and remorse.

An anniversary screening of a movie reunites the director and the lead actor after years of feuding with each other as well as a particular love for heroin which results in a series of childhood flashbacks.  There is an emotional void which causes both of the men to wayward souls.

There are several different elements deployed by filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar from an animation presentation explaining the various ailments of the protagonist to a one-man stage play as well as the prevailing thematic colour of red.  Antonio Banderas relishes the role of Salvador, the famous director who has become more defined by his physical and mental pain than his cinematic accomplishments.

The best scenes are the off-kilter moments like an audience Q&A session being conducted over a cellphone, setting up a home in a cave and the concluding shot.  The dialogue is sharp and funny.  No fault can be found in the performance of the cast.  The only real issue is with the narrative that meanders and feels self-indulgent at points.  However, that could be the product of one’s memory, especially when a person is taking stock of their life achievements and failings.

Check out all of our TIFF coverage
Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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