It’s been three years since Oscar-winning screenwriter and acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her) has released a film – three years too long if you ask most cinephiles. But like most art, the most impressive kind takes time to create. If the trailer for his newest drama Pain & Glory (Dolor y gloria) is an early indication, it looks like Almodóvar is picking up right where he left off.
Reuniting with frequent collaborators, Oscar-nominated actress Penélope Cruz (Volver) and actor Antonio Banderas (The Skin I Live In), Almodóvar seems to be taking a page from Italian director Federico Fellini and his 1963 drama 8½, which steps into meta territory by telling the story of an (wait for it) Italian director. Of course, in Pain & Glory, Almodóvar’s main character is a Spanish director. His name is Salvador Mallo (Banderas), and he finds himself reflecting on some of the choices he’s made in his life by revisiting the memories of his childhood in the 1960s and as a young man living in Madrid in the 1980s.
The wordless trailer begins with Banderas’ character submerged in a swimming pool as Italian singer Mina Mazzini sings her rendition of composer Pino Donaggio’s song “Come sinfonia” in the background. From there, we go back and forth between eras and watch both young and grown Salvador interact with his mother and other people in his life. The incredible cinematography by José Luis Alcaine (Volver) shows off his attention to detail – a woman walking into the shadows surrounded by white sheets hanging from a clothesline; a young boy sitting alone reading on a terrace surrounded by plants and flowers.
There is a sadness that consumes the entire 90-second trailer that is hard to shake by the final image. The 2-3 second-long scenes are just enough to tease the viewer and keep everything mysterious enough to want to know more about each of the characters. And because they’re Almodóvar’s characters, it’s a sure bet he’ll allow viewers to not only get to know them, but also inhabit their emotional space in the most profound of ways.
Pain & Glory is scheduled to be released in Spain on March 22, 2019. A release date for the U.S. has not been set yet.