Pain and Glory

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Pain and Glory
Theatrical release poster
SpanishDolor y gloria
Directed by
Written byPedro Almodóvar
Produced by
CinematographyJosé Luis Alcaine
Edited byTeresa Font
Music byAlberto Iglesias
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing International
Release date
  • 13 March 2019 (2019-03-13) (Madrid)
  • 22 March 2019 (2019-03-22) (Spain)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
Budget$10.8 million[2]
Box office$38.1 million[3][4]

Pain and Glory (Spanish: Dolor y gloria) is a 2019 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar.[5][6] It stars Asier Etxeandia, Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Leonardo Sbaraglia.[7][8]

The film was released in Spain on 22 March 2019 to positive reviews.[9] It made its international debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d’Or;[10] Banderas won the award for Best Actor and Alberto Iglesias won for Best Soundtrack.[11][12] Pain and Glory was nominated as the Spanish entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards,[13][14] with Banderas also being nominated for Best Actor. It was chosen by Time magazine as the best film of the year.[15]


Spanish film director Salvador Mallo is in the middle of a creative crisis. He is afflicted with various physical and mental ailments as his film Sabor (lit. Flavor) is remastered and re-released to appreciative audiences. Prompted by his friend Zulema, he calls Alberto Crespo, the lead actor of Sabor, with whom he has not spoken to for 32 years due to a quarrel over the actor's heroin use during filming. Salvador, who has not used it before, decides to smoke heroin with him. While under the influence, Salvador revisits some of his childhood experiences: one takes place during his childhood, where he moves into a whitewashed cave house with his father and mother, Jacinta. A local laborer and draughtsman named Eduardo learns to read and write under Salvador's tutelage.

After embarrassing him in an impromptu Q&A session, Salvador, to make amends, allows Alberto to use a personal piece of writing of his as a monologue for the stage so Alberto may revive his theatre career. The play is a success, telling the tragic story of Salvador and his lover Federico in 1980s Madrid which is fraught and ends due to Frederico’s addiction to heroin. Federico happens to be sitting in the audience during a performance. Federico (who has married a woman and had children in Argentina) meets Salvador in his apartment where the pair drink toasts to one another, reminisce, and passionately kiss before parting amicably. Salvador, at the end of the film, recognizes that his struggles with heroin and painkiller addiction mirrors that which he witnessed in Federico during their time together. He discards his remaining heroin and accompanied by his assistant Mercedes, he asks his doctor for help with his chronic back pain and heroin addiction.

In a flashback, Salvador's now-elderly mother accuses him of not being a good child. Before he can prove his love to her, she dies in the hospital instead of her village in the countryside. Mercedes hands him an invitation to attend an art exhibition; Salvador recognizes himself as the boy in a drawing on display. His memory flashes back to a morning at the cave home: Eduardo stopped tiling the kitchen to sketch Salvador sitting in the sun, then decided to bathe before finishing the drawing. Salvador leaves to lie down on his bed. Looking at the naked Eduardo his attraction is awakened. He faints, which Eduardo and his mother attribute to sunstroke.

Back in the present day, Salvador buys Eduardo's portrait of him; he reads the letter inscribed on the back which reveals Eduardo had sent the drawing to Jacinta while Salvador was away at school but she had not given to him. The letter ends with Eduardo thanking Salvador for teaching him to read and write. Mercedes says it would be easy to find Eduardo again through Google or by asking around at the village, but Salvador dismisses the idea saying the picture had finally reached him, its intended recipient.

He undergoes surgery to remove a growth affecting his throat that caused him to occasionally choke. In the final scene, a young Salvador waits with his mother en route to their new home in the village of cave houses. They sleep on the floor of a train station as the villagers outside celebrate a local holiday. The young Salvador watches the village's fireworks in wonderment, fixated on the spectacle, while his mother is visibly anxious and upset with their situation, reprising a previous recollection. The camera moves back and reveals a sound engineer recording the pair on the floor of a movie set. Salvador sits behind the camera looking at the monitor; in coming to terms with his relationship with his mother and past desires his creative crisis is finally overcome.



El Deseo announced plans for the new film in April 2018, confirming Antonio Banderas and Asier Etxeandia as leads with Penélope Cruz and Julieta Serrano in supporting roles.[19] The trailer, which was aired on 31 January 2019,[20] revealed Rosalía has a role in the film.[21] In May 2018, Almodóvar was pictured with cinematographer José Luis Alcaine on Twitter, researching locations in the Province of Valencia.[22] The following June, Fotogramas reported that a large part of the filming would take place in Valencia, particularly in the municipality of Paterna.[23] The same month, Agustín Almodóvar posted a photo of his brother, Pedro, on set on Twitter, which were later followed by photos of Banderas, Sbaraglia and Cruz together in screen tests for the film.[23] Agustín Almodóvar, the film producer,[24] announced via Twitter that filming began on 16 July 2018.[25][26] It concluded after 44 days on 15 September 2018.[27]


Pain and Glory was released in Spain on 22 March 2019. It was released in the United Kingdom by Pathé and 20th Century Fox on 23 August,[28] and received a limited release in the United States on 4 October, by Sony Pictures Classics.[29]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 96% based on 293 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Pain and Glory finds writer-director Pedro Almodóvar drawing on his own life to rewarding effect -- and honoring his craft as only a master filmmaker can."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[31]

Initial Spanish critical reception of the film was generally positive.[32] Pain and Glory received an average score of 7.7/10 from 1,448 reviews on FilmAffinity,[33] and an average critical rating of 4.3/5 from 14 critical reviews on Sensacine.[34] Fotogramas gave the film a 5-star review who complimented the director's artistry.[35] El Periódico de Catalunya also gave the film five stars,[36] while ABC gave the film 4 out of 5 stars,[37] and El Confidencial gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.[38] Catalan daily Ara compared the film's twilight serenity and checked emotion to that of the masterpiece last films made by John Huston and Carl Theodor Dreyer (Gertrud).[39] Manohla Dargis of the New York Times gave the film a rave review and chose it as her Critic's pick of the week writing " A great deal happens in “Pain and Glory,” just not ritualistically and not at top volume. Its agonies are tempered, its regrets hushed, its restraint powerful."[40] She also named it "The Best Movie of 2019".[41]

Time named Pain and Glory as the best film of 2019.[42] The Guardian ranked the film at No. 10 on it's list of the "50 best films of 2019".[43] Sight & Sound magazine named it the 6th-best film of the year.[44]

Box office[edit]

The film drew more than 45,000 moviegoers in Spain on the Friday of release, making it the most-viewed film in the country of that day.[45][46] It was estimated the film earned €300,000 in its first day,[47] rising to €1.2 million in its first weekend.[48] By 12 September 2019, the film has grossed a total of €6.5 million in Spain, making it the highest-grossing Spanish film of the year at the box office. Worldwide, Pain and Glory has accrued $36.6 million.[4]


List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Pedro Almodóvar Nominated [49]
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won [50]
Cannes Soundtrack Award Alberto Iglesias Won [51]
Queer Palm Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
Imagen Awards Best Feature Film Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
International Cinephile Society Awards Prix du Jury Pedro Almodóvar Won
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won
Sydney Film Festival Best Film Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
23rd Hollywood Film Awards Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won [52]
84th New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won [53]
45th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Language Film Pain and Glory Won [54]
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won
32nd European Film Awards Best Film Pain and Glory Nominated [55]
People's Choice Award Pain and Glory Nominated
Best Director Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won
Best Screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
Best Production Design Antxon Gómez Won [56]
Huading Awards Best Global Motion Picture Pain and Glory Nominated [57]
Best Global Director for a Motion Picture Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
Best Global Actor in a Motion Picture Antonio Banderas Nominated
Best Global Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Asier Etxeandia Nominated
Best Global Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Julieta Serrano Won
Best Global Writing for a Motion Picture Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
9th AACTA International Awards Best International Actor Antonio Banderas Nominated [58]
77th Golden Globe Awards Best Foreign Language Film Pain and Glory Nominated [59]
Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama Antonio Banderas Nominated
25th Critics' Choice Awards Best Foreign Language Film Pain and Glory Nominated [60]
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Nominated
34th Goya Awards Best Film Pain and Glory Won [61]
Best Director Pedro Almodóvar Won
Best Actor Antonio Banderas Won
Best Actress Penélope Cruz Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Asier Etxeandia Nominated
Leonardo Sbaraglia Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Julieta Serrano Won
Best Original Screenplay Pedro Almodóvar Won
Best Cinematography José Luis Alcaine Nominated
Best Editing Teresa Font Won
Best Art Direction Antxon Gómez Nominated
Best Production Supervision Toni Novella Nominated
Best Sound Sergio Bürmann, Pelayo Gutiérrez and Marc Orts Nominated
Best Costume Design Paola Torres Nominated
Best Makeup and Hairstyles Ana Lozano, Sergio Pérez Berbel and Montse Ribé Nominated
Best Original Score Alberto Iglesias Won
73rd British Academy Film Awards Best Film Not in the English Language Pedro Almodóvar and Agustín Almodóvar Nominated [62]
92nd Academy Awards Best Actor Antonio Banderas Nominated
Best International Feature Film Spain Nominated
31st GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film – Limited Release Pain and Glory Nominated [63]
62nd Ariel Awards Best Ibero-American Film Pain and Glory Won [64]

See also[edit]


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  6. ^ Redacción (16 July 2018). "Una comarca de cine. Pedro Almodóvar y Achero Mañas ruedan estos días en Paterna y Torrent". Hortanoticias (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Pedro Almodóvar rueda en Paterna su nueva película, 'Dolor y Gloria'". El Mundo (in Spanish). Valencia: Unidad Editorial. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Sbaraglia se sumó a la nueva película de Almodóvar". La Nación (in Spanish). Grupo de Diarios América. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  9. ^ Marie De La Fuente, Anna (December 13, 2018). "Sony Pictures to Release Pedro Almodovar's 'Pain & Glory' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
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  13. ^ Jiménez, Jesús (5 September 2019). "'Dolor y gloria', de Pedro Almodóvar, representará a España en los Oscar 2020". RTVE (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 September 2019.
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  25. ^ Play Cine (16 July 2018). "Comienza el rodaje de "Dolor y gracia", la nueva película de Almodóvar". ABC (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
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  56. ^ "JURY UNVEILS FIRST EIGHT EFA WINNERS" Check |url= value (help). https. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
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  60. ^ ""ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD" NAMED BEST PICTURE TAKES FOUR AWARDS AT 25th ANNUAL CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS". Broadcast Film Critics Association. January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
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  62. ^ Ritman, Alex (6 January 2020). "'Joker' Leads BAFTA 2020 Nominations". Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  63. ^ Gardner, Chris; Howard, Annie (January 8, 2020). "GLAAD Media Awards: 'Booksmart,' 'Bombshell,' 'Rocketman' Among Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  64. ^ ""Dolor y gloria" gana mexicano premio Ariel a mejor película iberoamericana". La Vanguardia. 28 September 2020.

External links[edit]