I should probably focus more on Almodóvar's older work, his more recent films have never really done it for me. Pain and Glory has moments when Almodóvar's talent shines through, but in the end I didn't really care much for the characters, the drama and their struggles in life.
Salvador Mallo is a director who has reached an age where he simply can't run away from taking a good hard look at his life. He doesn't really like what he sees and through his past, he tries to come to grips with the man he became. When an actor friend introduces him to drugs, Salvador may have found an alternative way out after all.
Banderas' character is a bit of a boring cliché, Almodóvar's signature style isn't half as vibrant as it used to be. I get that the man got a little older, but that's no excuse for his films to get duller. The cinematography and score are decent and because there's quite a bit of plot to wade through, it never gets too slow, but this was far from his best work.