kevinyang’s review published on Letterboxd:
I know Almodovar’s a good director, but color me surprised that I liked this given its subject: a struggling filmmaker grappling with his past and his career. Regardless of how personal it is, that sort of premise always seems to annoy me.
That’s not to say it doesn’t here - the film pretty frequently loses focus and/or relies on generic plot points to underscore its themes. Where the film succeeds is in drawing out its atmosphere, one that is lush but also tinged with deep sadness. That’s in part due to Almodovar’s assured directing style and dp, and in even larger part due to Banderas’ intense lead performance. While the script could use a few touch ups, the film overall manages to still deftly interweave the emotions of past and present, ultimately recontextualizing itself as it reaches its conclusion.