Romantic Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a filmmaker in the twilight of his career, is plagued by health issues just as his early film SABOR is readied for re-release. As physical ailments begin to consume his vitality, he is incapacitated by an immense depression. In this desperate state he reconnects with SABOR’s leading man, Alberto Crespo, from whom he’s been estranged for 30 years. Alberto too is searching for an artistic resurrection while self-medicating between gigs. Tapping into Alberto’s “escape route,” pain takes a backseat allowing Salvo to revisit the temperate climes of his past—memories of his loving and devout mother (Penélope Cruz), the purity of his first crush, a lost lover and greatest muse. As the past resuscitates his present, pain gradually reveals itself to be his creative salvation.
“Almodóvar has made a film about pleasure, which is itself a pleasure: witty, intelligent and sensuous. It is about love, memory, art, mothers, lovers and most of all it is about itself...Antonio Banderas steps up to the role he was born to play.” —Peter Bradshaw, Guardian “The film is one of the most meditative of Almodóvar’s career. He may have made his reputation with a string of transgressive, jarring and provocative films that helped upend Spanish cinema in the 1980s and ’90s, but with this film passion has given way to mature introspection.” —Steve Pond, The Wrap “A delicate, complex film…one of the reasons for that is how much trust Almodóvar places in Banderas, and how much that trust is reciprocated…Their friendship clearly influenced the performance in ways that other actors couldn’t have possibly understood.” —Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com
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