Pain & Glory: Espera un Minuto

Excuse me Senor, while I respected and ‘enjoyed’ the thorough story telling of Pain & Glory, I have to scream out ‘espera un minuto’ as far as all the accolades the film has received. Willem, Shia and Joaquin all did mucho more acting in The Lighthouse, Peanut Butter Falcon and Joker respectively and deserved the Cannes Best Acting Award more.

And if you wanted to break it down to best male actor in a foreign film, I’d say that without a doubt, Ka-ho Song does more acting in Parasite than Antonio Banderas does here. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fine actor and a handsome, earnest devil, but I’m not sure what politics might have been involved in the voting.

But let’s focus on the good for a moment….Pain & Glory is auto fiction meaning partially based on writer/director Pedro Almodovar’s real life. Perhaps because it is revealing and sometimes sad, the award was given for his ultimate vulnerability.
The story telling is dense, meaning a lot of dialogue. Colors and art are vibrant touches to the cinematography.
The acting is great. Besides Antonio, Asier Etxeandia was great as Salva’s junkie actor/frenemy, Penelope Cruz is gorgeous and competent as Salva aka Pedro’s mother, as is Asier Flores as his younger self.

Yet when I think of meaningful, truly moving moments, I can count them on one hand, and even then they were merely evocative blips.