MADRID – Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s “Dolor y Gloria” (Pain and Glory) added six more statuettes to its remarkable haul on Monday, nearly sweeping all the major prizes at the Platino Xcaret Awards for Ibero-American Cinema.
But while visibly pleased with the success of one of his most personal films, the renowned director joked in an interview with EFE that not having to compete against the winner of this year’s best-picture Oscar and Palme d’Or helped his chances.
“Fortunately ‘Parasite’ wasn’t there” among the nominees for the Platino Prizes, which recognize excellence in Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese cinema, he said.
Referring to the black comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, the first South Korean film to capture the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the first non-English-speaking film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Almodovar said it was the “year’s great phenomenon.”
“We followed each other around closely. I came across Bong Joon-ho two or three times a week for four months in the United States because we were both nominated (for different awards). I was going to say he robbed us, but I’m not going to say he robbed us because he didn’t rob us of anything,” the 70-year-old director said.
Almodovar said he has been surprised at how well “Pain and Glory,” which tells the story of a film director in decline, has been received at festivals and by the general public.
The story “came from some very intimate and personal material (and) … I was afraid and thought this film would be for a minority of very ardent fans. I didn’t think it was going to have this kind of an impact,” he said.
He said a key to the success of the film – which won six Platino Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor, and also took home seven honors at Spain’s Goya Awards – is that even though it has been promoted as a virtual autobiopic each viewer has made the film and the story their own.
Almodovar said he did not expect “Pain and Glory” would win six Platino awards but is pleased especially about the recognition for the members of his cast and crew, mentioning in particular the best-editing and best-actor Platinos for Teresa Font and Antonio Banderas, respectively.
“These are awards for members of your family,” he said proudly from an office of the Madrid-based El Deseo film production company he co-owns with his brother Agustin.
Banderas has won numerous awards for his performance in “Pain and Glory,” having been honored prior to Monday with best-actor prizes from the Cannes Film Festival, the Hollywood Film Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the European Film Awards and Spain’s Goya Awards.
He also spoke to EFE about his next film project, which he said will be titled “Madres Paralelas” (Parallel Mothers) and star Penelope Cruz, who had a role in “Pain and Glory” and also has appeared in numerous other Almodovar films.
Although he currently labels it a drama, Almodovar said “it’s always possible that some humor will be added.”
The director added that the story revolves around the “lives of two women who give birth on the same day and have parallel paths, hence the title.”