Fresh off a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival, Pedro Almodovar has for the 7th time been selected to represent Spain at the Oscars. His semi-autobiographical Pain And Glory, which scooped the Best Actor prize in Cannes for lead Antonio Banderas, was named this year’s submission to the International Feature Film category by the Spanish Film Academy today.
Pain And Glory was released in March in Spain, making over $6.5M. It then travelled to the Cannes Film Festival and was just in Telluride. It next heads to the Toronto and New York fests.
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Pain And Glory, which Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S. on October 4, also stars Penelope Cruz. It tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo (Banderas), a director in his physical decline. Some of the meetings are in the flesh, others are remembered: his childhood in the 60s, when he emigrated with his parents to a village in Valencia in search of prosperity; his first adult love in the Madrid of the 80s and the pain of the breakup; writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable; the early discovery of cinema; and the infinite void that creates an incapacity to keep on making films. Pain and Glory talks about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from one’s own life and about the passions that give it meaning and hope.
Said Almodovar today, “Right now I am traveling to the Toronto Festival, so I cannot be in the Academy with all of you, but I want to thank the Spanish academics for the support and the opportunity to compete, once again, in the category of Best International Film in the next Oscars. It is an honor to represent our industry, just as Toronto is a perfect place to start our campaign. It will not be easy to be among the five nominees because there is a lot of competition, every year, but I will, together with El Deseo and Sony Pictures Classics, do everything possible to do so. I want to share my joy with all the actors and technicians who have intervened in the film. Thanks to them for their talent and dedication and to the Academy for giving us this opportunity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Almodovar received his first Oscar nomination in this category with 1988’s Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown. He won with 1999’s All About My Mother and made the shortlist with 2006’s Volver. Overall, Spain has won the statue four times.