It took a while, but Antonio Banderas finally earned his first Oscar nomination for “Pain and Glory.” Where does this deeply personal outing from frequent collaborator Pedro Almodovar fall in with the rest of his filmography? Take a tour through our photo gallery of Banderas’ 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best.
Banderas made his film debut over three decades ago in 1982, in Almodovar’s “Labyrinth of Passion.” The actor would become a frequent leading man for the Spanish auteur, later appearing in such films as “Matador” (1986), “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1988), “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” (1990), “The Skin I Live In” (2011) and “I’m So Excited!” (2013).
He made his English-language acting debut with “The Mambo Kings” (1992) a decade after his first film with Almodovar. His performances in “Evita” (1996) and “The Mask of Zorro” (1998) brought him Golden Globe nominations for Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor. He reaped a third Globe nom as Best TV Movie/Mini Actor for “Pancho Villa.” Surprisingly, though, he just couldn’t get arrested at the Academy Awards despite being a major box office draw.
That all finally changed with his leading turn as a director closely modeled on Almodovar reflecting on his life as chronic pain slows his career. His Oscar trajectory kicked off at the Cannes Film Festival, where he won their Best Actor prize. He subsequently competed at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards before finally clinching his first Oscar bid. He’s also managed to sweep the critics awards, winning prizes at New York, LA and the National Society of Film Critics.
Take a look through our gallery of Banderas’ greatest films, including a few that should’ve brought him Oscar nominations a long time ago.
– Original text and gallery published in April 2018.