Antonio Banderas and Pedro Amaldóvar are two of Spain’s biggest film exports and have worked together numerous times. It’s fitting then that in Pain & Glory, the story of an ageing filmmaker in a creative rut who needs address some unresolved issues from his past, Banderas is basically playing Amaldóvar.
He’s not, of course. Not exactly. Banderas is Salvador Mallo, a respected director who was a maverick in his youth and who has settled into more soulful work in his later years who is suffering from debilitating pain and illness. So he’s basically Amaldóvar in this semi-autobiographical film. He’s also transcendently good in the role.