Julieta

"Extraordinary"

Julieta Review


Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the lines of Volver or All About My Mother. Its punchy emotional rhythms are deeply involving, while the film's visual style creates an atmosphere of mystery and suspense as a woman deals with parenthood, love and death over two decades.

Julieta (Emma Suarez) is a high-powered middle-aged woman in Madrid who has just agreed to move with her writer boyfriend Lorenzo (Dario Grandinetti) to Portugal. But a series of events changes her mind, and she instead drops out of her life, consumed with thoughts about her daughter Antia (Bianca Peres), who wants nothing to do with her. As she flashes back to life as a young woman (now Adriana Ugarte), she relives her romance with the rugged fisherman Xoan (Daniel Grao) and his close friend Ava (Inma Cuesta). And thinking about all of these people who have come and gone from her life clarifies her resolve.

The film is based on three Alice Munro stories, which is what gives it such a swirling, layered quality as the characters spiral around each other. Almodovar keeps the tone intimate and openly emotional, adding vivid visual flourishes in clever camerawork and striking splashes of primary colours (mainly reds and blues). Thankfully, this isn't a downbeat movie; it's a celebration of how various aspects of love touch our life. The focus is on the seasons of Julieta's face, and both Suarez and Ugarte are transparent in the role, seamlessly merging their performances to create a woman who understands that, even with people around you, you're essentially alone in life. Meanwhile, all of the supporting actors create remarkable inner lives for their characters that make them unusually vivid.

Julieta's relationships are all complicated, so making sense of them isn't easy. Her parents, lovers, friends and daughter both challenge and enrich her, bringing their issues into her life and vice versa. And as Almodovar creates an almost Hitchcockian wave of intrigue with the plot, the film grabs hold of the audience. It also feels a little elusive, as if we're being kept just on the edge of the story, which only adds to the idea that our past experiences linger throughout our lives, and how we deal with them affects everyone around us. With his inventive filmmaking, Almodovar is reminding us that, while we must make our decisions and live with them, we are never as alone as we think we are.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Julieta:



Julieta

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st December 2016

Budget: $1.5M

Production compaines: El Deseo, TVE, Canal+ France, Ciné +

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Emma Suárez as Julieta Arcos, Adriana Ugarte as Julieta Arcos (young), Daniel Grao as Xoan Feijóo, Inma Cuesta as Ava, Michelle Jenner as Beatriz, as Lorenzo, as Marian, Nathalie Poza as Juana, as Train conductor, Mariam Bachir as Sanáa, Pilar Castro as Claudia (Beatriz's mother), Jorge Pobes as Viajero Tren, Bimba Bosé as Beatriz's friend, Susi Sánchez as Sara (Julieta's mother), Priscilla Delgado as Antía Feijoo (teenager), Tomás del Estal as Man on Train, Blanca Parés as Antía Feijóo (18 yrs old), as Woman at Cemetery, Joaquín Notario as Samuel (Julieta's father), David Delfín as Beatriz's friend, Paqui Horcajo as Train passenger, Sara Jiménez as Beatriz (teenager), Elena Benarroch as Beatriz's friend, Ramón Aguirre as Goalkeeper, Charles Centa as Bit part, Jimena Solano as Antia Feijóo (2 yrs old)

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