Spain has selected Pedro Almodovar’s Dolor y Gloria as the country’s entry for the 2020 Academy Awards. Titled Pain and Glory in English, the autobiographical film starring Antonio Banderas will be released in the United States on Oct. 4. It came out in Spain last March and was subsequently shown at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Palme d’Or prize and where Banderas won the award for best actor.
Songs in Dolor y Gloria include the Spanish copla classic “A Tu Vera,” sung by Penelope Cruz and Rosalía, making a cameo in the film. Cruz plays the mother of Salvador Mallo, the character played by Banderas based on Almodovar himself. See the song performed by the great Lola Flores here:
Alaska y Dinarama, cohorts of Almodovar’s from Madrid’s post movida – the underground cultural scene in early 1980s Madrid – are also heard, performing the song, “Cómo pudiste hacerme esto a mí," as well as Grace Jones, singing “La Vie en Rose,” which she recorded in 1977.
The soundtrack also includes the emotional “Come Sinfonia,” performed by the Italian singer Mina Mazzini one of the many great divas who have been featured in Almodovar’s movies over the years.
Frequent Almodovar collaborator Alberto Iglesias composed the score for “Dolor y Gloria.”
(Full disclosure: my sister-in-law, Nora Navas, is a featured actor in the film).