buckett’s review published on Letterboxd:
"That's why I'm telling you, you must avoid sentimentalism. Control your emotions. Don't cry. You actors use any excuse to cry. The better actor is not the one that cries, but the one that fights the tears."
Quietly moving and effective, with no pretense. This really does feel like the work of a filmmaker who is himself coming to grips with his mortality and reflecting on his life and career, not someone reaching for profundity. No overt sentimentality or grand speeches, just small vignettes from the man's life (Banderas, extremely good) that are personally meaningful.
The one-man play about a former lover, by chance, is seen by the former lover; the sketched portrait of a young boy finds it way to the boy himself decades later. We see that others are moved by these too but Almodovar highlights that these works spring forth from specific feelings about specific people. Just an honest work, a semi autobiography that manages not to feel artificially tragic or comic.