In Dolor y gloria, Pedro Almodóvar makes copious references to his own life and work. Just like in Fellini’s 8½, a celebrated film director can’t get new work off the ground, isolates himself, and reminisces about his childhood.
Almodóvar lent his apartment, paintings, little ailments, clothes, and hairdo to the main character, played by Antonio Banderas. The film narrates how light can return to the darkness by reconciling oneself with one’s past and simply accepting the inevitable blurring between fiction and reality, work and private life, pain and glory.
Almodóvar may be turning seventy, but his storytelling, use of colour, and sense of style are as fresh as ever. 8½ on ten.