The film stars Emma Susrez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Imna Cuesta, Dario Grandinetti, Priscilla Delgado, Rossy De Palma. This film is directed by Pedro Almodovar, it’s his 21st full feature film. It’s been 3 years since his last movie, and his fans have been patiently waiting. He’s known for writing some of the best female characters and dialogue ever written by a man, maybe he was a woman in another life. Whatever he is, his work is pure genius. Can you tell I’m a fan? This is Spain’s Official Selection to the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category, and for good reason. Julieta Is proof that Almodovar just keeps getting better with age.
The film opens with the lead character, older Julieta (Played by Emma Suarez) packing up to move to Portugal with her lover Lorenzo (played by Dario Grandinetti). You can tell they love each other as he teases her about throwing away so many books. Later on, a chance meeting on the street by Julieta and a grown up Bea (played by Michelle Jenner) puts Julieta's life in a tailspin. Bea was her daughter Antia's’ best friend when she was a teenager. Bea tells her about her chance encounter with Anita at Lake Cuomo recently. She’s told that her daughter is married with 3 kids and seemed happy and very busy. Julieta is stunned because she has struggled with the uncertainty of what her daughter is doing since she turned 18 and abandoned her mother completely.
This causes Juleta to go back to her apartment and unpack her boxes. She ignores Lorenzo's calls all night. He comes by the next day only to be told she is not moving away with him and wants to be by herself. He sees this as coming out to left field. He knows there is a part of her past she keeps to herself and he never pushed to find out what it was, but he is dumbfounded by her sudden reversal.
It’s at this point that the story takes us to the past by Julieta writing in a journal and telling her daughter the truth of what happened between her and her father and how losing her daughter's affection affected her.
We meet young Julieta (Played by Adriana Ugarte) and how she met the love of her life Xoan (played by Daniel Grao). The time that the movie spends on the train is amazing. You understand why they fall in love and you get to see one of the best sex scenes ever on film. As much as Almodovar knows the hearts and minds of women, he knows how to tell a story of two people connecting in the intimacy of sex. Super hot, and sexy, what more can you say?
The cinematography in this film is classic Almodovar, it seems muted, like looking through sunglasses that have smudgy fingerprints on them and saturated with colors that play on your emotions. I love the way you can tell it’s one of his films from the very start, I like to call it “the 1970’s filter.” it’s the same look and feel of his classic film “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” In anyone else's hands it would come off cheesy, but with him it works.
The film, Julieta, at it’s core is about a mother’s struggle to survive the loss of her husband to death and her daughter to anger. It explores the guilt complexes and emotions that would lead us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from their lives as if they had never existed.
This film is a real gem and if you want to be one of the first to catch it here in Texas you’ll have to see it at it’s exclusive run at the Angelika theater chain. It should be on wide release later on.
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
Written By Pedro Almodovar & Alice Munro
Running time 1hr 39 min
Foreign language drama (Spanish)
Limited release is Jan 20 2017 at Angelika Dallas & Plano