“A guilt- soaked pleasure.”
Tim Robey – Telegraph.
Based on three short stories by Alice Munro the film follows a middle aged Julieta as she seeks to confront the circumstances which estranged her from her only child.
Pedro Almodóvar | Spain | 2016 | 99 mins | 15
‘Julieta’ finds Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar in an austere reflective mood. The film is based on three inter-related short stories titled ‘Chance’, ‘Soon’ and ‘Silence’ from the 2004 book ‘Runaway’ by Canadian writer Alice Munro.
The stories follow the principal character at different stages of her life. A middle aged Julieta seems happy and content with her stylish lifestyle but a chance encounter sends her into emotional turmoil and we discover that she has an estranged daughter, Antía, who she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Driven to write a confession to Antía about all the secrets which have been hidden for over thirty years, she realises she has no way to deliver it.
Almodóvar is on familiar territory with this female-focused emotional drama. His previous films included ‘All about my Mother’, ‘Volver’ and ‘Talk to Her’ and whilst in recent years he forayed into other areas, his great subject is the emotional terrain and interior lives of women. This film is more buttoned up than those three earlier films, and the plot twists are more maudlin. As mystery is a main theme sometimes the characters seem to be in the middle of a thriller.
Like all Almodóvar films the score is magnificent and affecting and the craft elements – cinematography, design and costumes – are excellent, and made to look easy. The story may be subdued but other elements of this intriguing film shout loud.