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  • The screenplay of 'Julieta' is constructed with almost mathematical precision. In one of the first scenes, director Almodovar presents the question that is central to the rest of the film: what happened to the daughter of lead character Julieta? Most of the film consists of a long flashback, in which he slowly reveals the circumstances and events that led to her disappearance. At the end of the film, we are back in the present again, and we know everything there is to know.

    It's a story Hitchcock would have been proud of: there is suspense, a beautiful blonde femme fatale, and psychological story elements. Not only the story, but also the cinematography is reminiscent of the master of suspense. Every scene is shot with extreme attention to lighting, colour and camera angle. Small details are the cherry on the cake: notice the way Almodovar introduces the birthday cake for the disappeared daughter: shot from above, as if it is a surreal work of art. Another example is the short sex scene in the train: the viewer sees only Julieta's head, but the rest of her body is reflected in the window pane behind her. As a director, Almodovar wants as much to be in control as Hitch. The result is a very beautiful film in every way - even the soundtrack is extremely tasteful.

    'Julieta' is an elegantly filmed drama. There are no outrageous characters, exuberant scenes or other colourful elements we know from his earlier films. This is a restrained, precise and in every way immaculate piece of cinema.
  • After taking something of a major nose-dive with "I'm So Excited" that many other directors might not have recovered from, Almodovar is back on something approaching his best form. In many respects, "Julieta" is his 'All About My Daughter' though it doesn't have the same emotional clout that "All About My Mother" or "Volver" had. This is Pedro is a very serious mode, perhaps too serious; maybe a little bit of humor might not have gone amiss.

    Julieta is played by two different actresses, (Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suarez), at different stages of her life and much of the film is told in flashbacks. These women, and Almodovar's meticulous direction, hold our attention but I was never moved by the film in a way I felt I should have been, at least until the very end.

    The source material is three stories by Alice Munro, none of which I've read, but considering how seamlessly Almodovar keeps the material flowing I am sure he has done a very fine job of adapting them for the screen, nor can I imagine how the original conception of filming this in English with Meryl Streep might have worked. So not quite top-notch Almodovar but proof, nevertheless, that he can still deliver the goods when he's called to.
  • I'm a big fan of Almodóvar's work, his movies follow my life since I was a teenager, I always adore his early work, movies like "Kika", "High heels" and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" are still considered by me as the height of his career - a bizarre comedy- dramas with a kinky side and raw edges.

    in the late 90's Almodóvar became famous worldwide with movies such as "live flesh" "all about your mother" and "talk to her" a melodramatic movies that touched us with a unique approach and vivid colors.

    this movie is similar to his big successful movies from the late 90s: the women are in the center of the story where the men pushed aside, there is still a melodramatic approach and lots of mysteries that similar to an onion, piled up slowly, layer by layer until the very end of the movie. the colors are vivid like most of his movies, especially the red color, a sign of passion for Almodóvar, just like his Characters who drive themselves by their total passion to life and love.

    so, is that movie good? if you want to compare it to his best and famous work - "all about your mother" and "talk to her" then this movie will lose the fight, it's less sophisticated and the plot has less twists, but still it's a good movie with a touching plot, good acting and a great director who hasn't lost his touch.
  • In Madrid, the middle-aged Julieta (Emma Suárez) is packing her books to move to Portugal with her boyfriend Lorenzo (Dario Grandinetti). She goes shopping for the journey and stumbles upon Bea (Michelle Jenner), who was the best friend of her missing daughter Antia. They talk to each other and Bea discloses that Antia is married with three children. Julieta decides to stay in Madrid; breaks with Lorenzo; and rents an apartment in her former building, hoping that Antia contacts her. She decides to write the heartbreaking story of her life since she was a young woman and met her beloved future husband and Antia´s father Xoan (Daniel Grao) until the losses of Xoan and Antia.

    "Julieta" is a dramatic romance by Pedro Almodóvar in a conventional style totally different from most of his previous works, since it is neither tacky nor aggressive to the Catholic Church; and using neither bright colors nor bizarre characters. Indeed it is a mature work disclosing the story of a middle-aged depressed woman that has her life affected for the loss of her beloved husband first and the last twelve years for the disappearance of her eighteen year-old daughter. The most important, the powerful drama never becomes a melodramatic soap-opera. The screenplay is very well-written with a perfect open end and magnificent cast. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Julieta"
  • Not Almodovar's best film, but also far from his weakest. This character study/mystery/melodrama has hints of both Douglas Sirk and even Hitchcock in its beautiful look, production design, and score, even if it's story is more wispy than most films by those old masters.

    Julieta is a classy, attractive middle-aged woman, living seemingly happily with a successful writer, when she encounters an old friend of her daughter's. The friend tells Julieta of running into the girl while traveling – not knowing the daughter disappeared many years ago, a loss that left Julieta emotionally destroyed.

    Julieta abruptly decides to break up with her current man, and live alone to try and deal with the re-awakened grief she had finally managed to tamp down. She writes the story of her adult life and loves – which led to her loss – as a sort of goodbye (perhaps suicide?) letter/diary to her daughter that she knows will probably never be read.

    The story is always interesting, and the performances are generally quite strong (with one glaring exception in Rossy De Palma's over the top villain-y maid, who seems like she's stepped out one of Almodovar's far less subtle, more campy stories). But while the characters are going through tempests of great emotion, the film kept me cool, removed and observational. That's no crime, but it did keep it from being a powerful experience -- it ended up being an 'interesting and stylish' one instead. Almodovar has said he intended the film to be seen twice, so one can re-see the scenes understanding the film's later revelations, and as admire his work I'm willing to give it that chance and see if that deepens the experience.
  • You may enjoy Julieta (2016) more if you know that it is a women's film from the melodrama genre and a story of pure emotion. While it is labelled a romance it is nothing like a romance and don't expect light entertainment or laughs as the film is devoid of humour. What is does have is an outpouring of quintessentially maternal guilt and self-absorbed loss that is palpable throughout the film. While critics may be divided, this is a beautiful film with a long aftertaste.

    We meet the attractive widow Julieta just as she is packing to leave Madrid and move with her boyfriend to Portugal. Madrid is full of painful memories, the most intense of which is not seeing her daughter Antia for twelve years. A chance encounter with her daughter's former best friend opens an uncontrollable torrent of guilt which suddenly fills Julieta's life. Abandoning her boyfriend, she decides to stay in Madrid in case Antia ever looks for her. Unable to deal with her grief in any other way, she writes the story of her life as if she is talking to her absent daughter.

    Julieta narrates the story in chapters that become extended flashbacks to her early romance with Antia's father, their lives together as a family and its eventual disintegration. What was once a life full of loving relationships becomes one of multiple losses even though Julieta herself bears little blame for the tragedies. Julieta is unaware how deeply her daughter was affected by what happened and is bewildered when Antia searches for spirituality at a Swiss retreat. Her sudden disappearance without explanation has left her mother with unresolved grief.

    As each chapter unfolds we see the larger portrait of the mother and daughter relationship in all its dense complexity and destructive power. The narrative teasingly denies us knowledge of why Antia refuses all contact with her mother, and year after year Julieta mourns each passing birthday as if it was a funeral. The storytelling intensity is sustained by finely nuanced acting from the two stars who play the younger and older Julieta, and those who play Antia at different ages. The camera-work has a melancholic sensitivity that resonates with the Spanish landscapes and urban settings, and while the story unwinds slowly, to tell it more quickly would lose depth and meaning. Julieta is a darkly sensitive essay about the universal emotion of maternal guilt and its melancholy lifts like a rising fog with a masterfully ambivalent ending that soars.
  • dromasca1 September 2016
    I loved 'Julieta'. Pedro Almodovar's 2016 production is one of those films that captivates the viewers during the whole duration of the screening because of the mastering of story telling and by using human emotions. Other directors may do the same thing by making recourse to thrills or horror or intellectual curiosity but it's hard to keep the attention alive for the whole duration of a long feature film. It's not the case here – as a viewer in a cinema hall I lived every moment of this story together with its (mostly female) heroes, and I keep thinking and caring about the characters hours after the screening finished. I believe that the conditions are met for the first 10 out of 10 grade on my IMDb scale in years.

    Many of the previous films of Almodovar are about love and loss, about communication with and without words, about death and passion and the fragile border between them. What seems to be different in 'Julieta' is the more tender approach and also a message that seems to be more assertive that in many other movies of the Spanish maestro – there are dangers in being lonely and in not being capable to communicate with those you care about.

    The social landscape where the film takes place is the same Spain in evolution from the democratic awakening of the late 70s and early 80s with its breaking of tradition and liberation of passions until the today with its cold and antiseptic kind of connections in the bourgeois or intellectual circles. The family cell is the one that seems to perpetuate not necessarily the traditions but also the cheating and domestic crises in a repetition that one can accept or revolt with all the risks taken. Julieta's profession – a teacher of Greek and mythology, and a good one – puts her in the position to connect between the day to day banality of sentiments and the greater forces of destiny, but her problem resides mainly in the lack of communication with her daughter. Are the walls between generations unavoidable? Is it us who build these walls or is it just destiny that rises them in each generation? Can anything but time turn these walls down?

    As in any great movies there are several levels of story. There is a story of relationship between mother and daughter, and of coming of age. There are threads about family relations that perpetuate for generations, about men who cheat, women who try to balance marriage, mothering, and their own realization, young maids who steal husbands, old maids who talk too much, social differences that can only be hidden but not erased. Death seems to be around the corner at many moments, so is physical incapacity and the pain of coping with the decay of the dear ones – these are some of the recurring themes in the movies of the Spanish master.

    As in many of Almodovar's films its the women characters who share most of the load (although this film also features one sensitive man as a key supporting character). The two actresses that play Julieta at the two stages of her life – Adriana Ugarte as a young woman, Emma Suárez as her elder self are both superb in taking turns to tell the story of a woman who loves and fears, loses all and searches back to find her compass in life. The way the story is written we learn about many of the details and discover some of the hidden threads together with the character. This helps us feel and resonate with her. The elegant casting and direction help us understand that while guilt may pass in between generations, there is always hope, and reconciliation is possible sometimes when not too many questions are asked. Beautifully filmed, deeply moving, superbly acted – what else can we ask?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This Palme d'Or contestant does not reflect Almodovar's penchant for gender-bending, or his often convoluted scripts. However, it retains his female-centric theme. As "Julieta" is very much event-driven, I shall take the liberty of giving it chapter titles. The prologue shows Julieta on the verge of cleansing any thought of her daughter Antia who has gone missing for over a decade. Then she bumps into Antia's teenage-days buddy Beatrice who has in turn recently bumped into Antia, now a mother of three. This triggers Julieta's writing letters to her missing daughter (with nowhere to send) to tell her things she had not been told before. The main body of the movie is flashbacks based on these letters.

    1. STRANGERS ON THE TRAIN. Julieta is seventeen. The first stranger is a middle-age man who tries to strike up a conversation, which turns her away. The second is young fisherman Xoan she encounters in the dining car, reminding you of Celine and Jessie. But circumstances are different as Xoan has a wife who is in a coma. There is distinct Hitchcockian mood here when the train comes to an abrupt halt. Despite the engineer's categorical denial, the train did hit something. When it turns out that it is the successful suicide attempt of the middle-age man, Julieta suffers a sudden pang of guilt while Xoan comforts her. They end up making love on the train.

    2. DOMESTICITY BLISS. A few months later, a letter from Xoan announcing his wife's demise brings Julieta to his village, when she has news for him too: she is pregnant. Antia is born healthy and beautiful.

    3. MOTHER'S HELPER. In a side-plot, Julieta brings Antia on a short trip to visit her parents (father just retired and mother an invalid). Turns out that the old couple has hired a young and attractive live-in helper who, in addition to taking care of her mother, also takes care of her father, in a different way. But since Julieta has her own life, in a different city, there isn't much she can do.

    4. UNDERCURRENTS. There are two characters with significance surrounding Xoan. Marian is the dominating matron-type part-time helper who for obvious reasons display immediate hostility towards Julieta. On the other hand, Ava, a sculpture artist, Xoan's long-time friend, is genuinely friendly. When Julieta eventually fires Marian, the latter intimates, through innuendos, that Ava is Xoan's ex-lover and the two still have rendezvous occasionally.

    5. TRAGEDY HITS. During a 3-week period when teenage Antia is at camp, Julieta confronts Xoan about Ava, which may or may not be the reason he seeks refuge on a fishing trip, gets caught in a sudden storm and drowns. In the meantime, Antia at camp meets Beatrice (who appeared in the prologue) and the pair becomes instantly inseparable. This ended up with Antia going to spend some time at Beatrice's affluent house immediately after camp, necessitating Julieta's going there to announce the tragic news of her father's untimely death.

    6. WIDOWED. Mother and daughter move to an apartment and continue their life without a man-in-the-house as Julieta accepts another undesirable reality that she has to share her daughter's affection with Beatrice. After high school, however, Beatrice seeks her career in New York while Antia goes to a secluded retreat for three months as in interlude before university.

    7. DISAPPEARANCE. Julieta drives all the way to pick up Antia, only to be told that her daughter does not want to see her and has gone on to seek her own fulfillment. She lives through hell for a few years, hearing only once from Antia, a blank birthday card on the latter's own birthday.

    8. TYING UP LOOSE ENDS. Upon visiting Ava (Multiple Sclerosis) Julieta finds more clue about Antia's leaving, but nothing conclusive. More importantly, she meets Ava's friend Lorenzo, and the two ended up "giving a reason for each other's existence". This brings the timeline backs to the opening prologue when Julieta bumps into Beatrice. That happens again some time later, with more revelation from Beatrice. The conclusion comes as a letter from Antia with nothing that can really be called a twist.

    I may have used up all the allowed space and this turns out to be sort of a synopsis. So very quickly: great acting, good story-telling, engaging scenes – a somewhat different Almodovar, but still quite recognizable.
  • Pedro Almodover 2oth feature film being an engaging and thought provoking melodrama dealing with a middle age woman , Emma Suarez , living in Madrid with her sweetheart , Dario Grandinetti , about to move towards Lisboa . She , then , decides to stay only in Madrid to take on her existence and the most essential deeds about her missing daughter , Priscila Delgado . Julieta begins to record by writing her sad memories when she was a teen , Adriana Ugarte , and how she meets a fisher, Daniel Grao , and falls for him .

    Interesting and agreeable drama by Almodovar plenty of passions , love , death and twists. Great performances from Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte. Being based on 3 stories by Alice Munro titled Chance, Soon and Silence from his collection Runaway . Attractive as well as sensational support cast plenty of Almodovar familiar faces such as Dario Grandinetti, Rossi De Palma in her seventh collaboration , along with others as Daniel Grao , Imma cuesta, Natalie Poza, Michelle Jenner, Susi Sánchez , Joaquin Notario , Pilar Castro .Sensitive and enjoyable soundtrack by Oscar Winner Alberto Iglesias , Almodovar regular. Colorful and evocative cinematography by Jean Claude Larrieu and a lot of frames contains the Red color.

    La motion picture was well directed by Pedro Almodovar in his usual style, being produced by his brother Agustin Almodovar and their production company , El Deseo . This is Almodovar return to women's drama which he has not directed on since Volver . Almodovar is considered to be one of the best fimmakers of the film history . He has got a lot of hits with dramatic films as Talk to her , Volver , The flower of My secret , The sin I live in, Abrazos rotos , Carne Trémula, Tacones Lejanos , Ley Del Deseo , Que he hecho yo para merecer esto , Matador ! , but also has made comedies as Women on the edge of breakdown , Kika , Laberinto de pasiones , I am so excited and Pepi Lucia Bom.
  • athena2424 September 2016
    I found Julieta to be interesting at the very least. The story has a smooth flow and My whole attention was within the movie. I was trying to grasp everything the characters said while enjoying the visuals and the score.

    Technically, this is probably Almadovar's best work. The scenery and camera work is beautiful. The colors please the eye. The score in the background is always in the right tone. Aiding to the smooth transitions within the movie. The cast is excellent. I understood clearly who each character is.

    The main theme of Julieta is the relationship between a mother and her child. And that some things we understand as we grow older, with our life experience. This is a recurring theme in Almadovar's movies ('High Heels', 'Volver') but it is set upon a different set of characters with different virtues and faults. And of course a different story.

    The plot is imperfect but it is very interesting nonetheless. I didn't fall in love with the characters of Julieta like it was in 'All about my mother' - and this is the main reason I didn't rate it higher - but I still felt their human side. And on the upside, there were no annoying or boring characters either.

    People write about a new Almadovar. Well, for me it was a bit of misleading. I saw the director's signature elements through the whole movie. I'm talking about the camera shots, the low amount of people on set, the gradual revelation of events so when the credits roll the viewer knows all that happened explaining all the references made. It is less extravagant then some of his other work, but it is definitely not his first in being such.
  • Julieta is definitely not the best, but for sure not the worst of Almodovar either. It's a good story, with very good actors, good characters but the scenes Almodovar put all together are stereotypes of his own cinema and his own world. It's a bit like Tarantino who exaggerates what he does (or did) the best. Is it because he gets older and older ? Is it because he lacks inspiration ? I loved his cinema, I don't want to lash out at him but this film is not enough to resuscitate Almodovar's genius. Almodovar masters the dramatic art, the seriousness of scenes, the desire on screen but he mainly made a postcard of his own, a postcard of his own world. The salad bowl is beautiful, full of fresh vegetables and Spanish specialties, the house on the North coast features an outstanding view over the sea, the Spanish village in the south is authentic and calm, the kitchen's wall paper reminds the eighties but it is mainly "beautifully cheesy". It requires no effort to watch it, you can let you drive by his eternal love towards Madrid, the women, the Spanish country side, sexual desires and you can lie to yourself saying it's agreat one... it may work for some time and you'll have a good moment. The end of the film is just a non-ending story... and we (his fans) will wait for the next one.
  • Fate and mother/daughter relationships Pedro Almodóvar crowns his 30 year career as one of our most creative, controversial and brilliant cinematic artists with this his twentieth film – JULIETA – based on three short stories by Alice Munro as adapted for the screen by Almodóvar. Not only is the story mesmerizing and at times challenging to keep up with the director's ideas, it displays a brilliant cast of Spanish actors in one of the most impressive films of the past year.

    One of the tricky directorial decisions is to employ two actresses to play the same character – one as the younger Julieta and one as the more mature Julieta. The manner in which Almodóvar transitions these two aspects of the personality of Julieta (as well as the stunning performances by the two actresses – Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte) is just one of the miracles of this film.

    Briefly, after a casual encounter, a brokenhearted woman decides to confront her life and the most important events about her stranded daughter. But more specifically, Julieta (Emma Suárez) is a middle-aged woman living in Madrid with her boyfriend Lorenzo (Dario Grandinetti). They plan to move to Portugal when Julieta encounters Bea (Michelle Jenner), former best friend of her daughter Antia (Priscilla Delgado then Blanca Parés), who reveals that Antia is living in Switzerland and is married and with three children. With the heart broken after 12 years of total absence of her daughter, Julieta cancels the journey to Portugal and she moves to her former building, in the hope that Antia someday communicates with her sending a letter. Alone with her thoughts, Julieta starts to write her memories to confront the pain of the events happened when she was a teenager (Adriana Ugarte) and met Xoan (Daniel Grao), a Galician fisherman. Falling in love with him, Julieta divides her time between the family, the job and the education of Antia until a fatal accident changes their lives: Xoan is drowned at sea during a brutal storm. Slowly decaying in a depression, Julieta is helped by Antia and Bea, but one day Antia goes missing suddenly after a vacation with no clues about where to find her, leaving Julieta desperate to understand the reasons of her missing and her search leads to self discovery and acceptance of buried secrets – her own relationship with her mother and the kinship between like mother who happen to be mother/daughter.

    The uniformly excellent cast includes the Almodóvar constant, Rossy de Palma, whose presence is a meaningful driver to the story. The musical score is by Alberto Iglesas and the lush cinematography is the work of Jean-Claude Larrieu. But the crown belongs to Pedro Almodóvar – another brilliant masterpiece.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When in Madrid these days, for a cinephile, don't miss the chance to watch Almodóvar's latest drama in the cinema, earlier than its Cannes debut later in May, and there is an afternoon screen with English subtitles catering to Anglophones.

    Adapted from three short stories from Alice Munro's RUNAWAY and transposed the story to the modern-day Madrid, in the opening Julieta (Suárez) is a middle-aged woman who is going to embark on a new chapter with her boyfriend Lorenzo (Grandinetti), moving to Portugal. But a chance encounter with Beatriz (Jenner), her daughter Antía's old friend, jolts her to change her mind, she leaves Lorenzo and relocates to the apartment where she and Antía had lived in Madrid, where she unlocks the door of her hidden memories, the past comes rushing in.

    In the flashback, a young Julieta (Ugarte), at the age of 25, met Antía's father, a then-married fisherman Xoan (Grao) on a night train, they engaged a passionate consummation after witnessing a suicidal incident, Julieta was pregnant. By the time of their next meeting, Xoan's long-time bed- ridden wife would just pass away, and a new nuclear family would form. But, when Antía (Delgado) was away on a summer camp, a tragedy happened, the aftermath would result in Antía's pertinacious determination of not contracting Julieta ever again, after leaving for college. So back to the present day, after learning about the news of Antía for the first time in 12 years, it is understandable that Julieta cannot make peace with the painful secret, will she finally get the forgiveness from her only daughter? Or, whether or not she should be blamed?

    It is a guilt trip for Julieta to stressfully unveil her side of experiences, two deaths, although are not directly caused by her, but somehow, she feels accountable, Munro's judicious dissection of one's inner inquiry about life's capriciousness feels a tad solemn and innately incongruous with Almodóvar's wheelhouse, maybe after his previous outlandishly self-indulgent romp I'M SO EXCITED (2013), he decides to go dead serious this time, only the end product is defective in both witty enlightenment and emotional catharsis when all the plot-line is laid bare.

    Multi-colored palette is still Amodóvar's unvarying trademark, strewed in the film's contemporary settings and costumes, Suárez and Ugarte are not Amodóvar's regulars, but both shoulder their narrative with engaging gusto, and the requirement of the former's performance is more challenging, and Daniel Grao, presents himself with unabashed allure, but, it is Rossy de Palma as a blunt-talking maid, steals the sole laughters and imprints with a singular mark on how a close-up of her intense stare can summon so many unsaid judgements from her character.

    JULIETA cleverly ends before heading into a more conventional reconciliation, it all leaves up to audience's own imagination. Honestly speaking, Almodóvar is a marvellous story-teller, his knack of telling a run-of-the-mill story with a captivating arc, and his earnest sympathy on female characters, bodes well for his auteur reputation, even though JULIETA doesn't reach the height one might have anticipated, it is not at all a fiasco in any regard, but a pardonable misstep, which actually happens to almost all the venerable filmmakers.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An Almodovar fan for decades, I couldn't wait to see his newest film after recently seeing a trailer for it while viewing Paul Verhoeven's newest, "Elle," with Isabelle Huppert: I drove 75 miles to see "Julieta" in the only city it was playing near me currently. The theater was packed and you could feel the anticipation as the lights went down, but, as the film progressed, my, my friend's, and many audience members' enjoyment of the evening started to flag. On the positive side, Almodovar and his Director of Photography (and set and costume designers) deliver a typical-for-Almodovar beautiful-to-look-at film, filled with primary colors and interesting locales, and the film is very well-acted by all involved, but as the screenplay unfolds it becomes obvious this is one of Almodovar's lesser efforts--the melodrama not as intense or surprising (or fun) as in many of his past films, and the ending one of the most unsatisfying in memory (of any film). There was some applause at the end, but it was limp and scattered--most audience members obviously thought the film just O.K. or worse. If you're a fan, it's worth seeing, as you'll appreciate his cast and the acting (and the look of the film), as I did, but if you don't know who Almodovar is or you're looking for a great film, "Julieta" isn't it.
  • The story is not unique, but the way it was told and unfolded, coupled with the superb performance and the aesthetic visuals, all together they created a wonderful piece of cinema.

    The real intriguing point that was never addressed or shown throughout the film, but is the main driving force behind the whole story is the pain of losing a father from the daughter. We only see the pain of losing a husband from the mother and her suffering for losing a daughter. And again, there was no showing of the daughter's suffering with the lost of her own son (which only briefly mentioned in a letter).

    The title of the movie should be something else that more alluring and interesting than what it is. It would help much more with the international audiences and create more interest than just "Julieta", which is a very plain and ordinary name without a clue about the story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well-learned in the classic "women's films" of directors John Stahl, Douglas Sirk and R.W. Fassbinder, Almodovar lays an egg with this bland and surprisingly uninteresting adaptation of short stories by Alice Munro. What read so well on the printed page fails to translate to the big screen this time.

    The many failings of the work include: workmanlike but unimpressive acting by all the principals; unsubtle telegraphing of key plot elements or twists (e.g. the inevitable lesbian subplot; omission of the two key scenes of the story (daughter's disappearance and reunion with her finale), as if not showing them represents "subtlety" (but in fact robs the viewer of important payoffs and release of tension); and overall a remote approach more suitable to a hack than the flamboyant, once innovative infant terrible Pedro.

    Even the topical or cultural references are poor: name-dropping Kim Basinger and Angela Molina in one of the heroine's flashback scenes as a substitute teacher of Classics curriculum, or the use of Ulysses and his saga as counterpoint to the banal life history of our heroine. Molina's reference is apt for film buffs as she was THE go-to actress in the heyday of Spanish cinema decades back, but it also indicates a hint as to the film's casting, since she was so famously the 1/2 of the actress duo (with the stunning beauty Carole Bouquet) who both starred as Conchita in Bunuel's classic "That Obscure Object of Desire".

    Pedro has Emma Suarez as Julieta the older, and Adriana Ugarte as her at a younger flashback age, and both actresses give earnest performances, with zero sparkle or pizazz. The drama has been drained from the film, while fans of yesteryear's twin genres of soap opera and melodrama deserve and yearn for just that: dramatic eruptions or even over-the-top outbursts at crucial or climactic moments. Almodovar niggardly denies the viewer such enjoyment, particularly by leaving out the ending of the film entirely. It's not a shaggy-dog movie (leave that cruelty to the Coen Bros.) but has the same sort of "I've been cheated" result when the end credits roll.

    My takeaway is that the mature (nay, over-the-hill) Aldomovar has honed his craftsmanship to such perfection that the life force (that characterized his early work and propelled him to international acclaim) no longer exists in his films. Instead we have a brick-by-brick professionalism, evidenced in some quality if sparing imagery and mechanical connective footage that one should take for granted. It's a lazy, blah approach that seems to have overtaken all my heroes as a younger film buff from decades past, fellow Film Festival circuit titans like Wenders, Jarmusch, et al.
  • Before the end credits rolled out, my feeling was "At last a great film from Almodovar with a mesmerizing performance from Emma Suarez as the older Julieta." That feeling, unfortunately, was short lived.

    Almodovar had not written the story--many of his other works are his own. Almodovar had merely adapted the stories of Nobel Prize winning Canadian author Alice Munro. I have never read Munro to date but the depth of the story line urges me to do so fast. She is great!

    The film is also memorable for Emma Suarez' screen presence as the older Julieta. So were the choice of the music and the paintings used in the film.

    This is for me the most likable Almodovar film and yet it does not belong to him: it belongs to the Canadian lady. One got the feeling you were watching the filmed version of a modern day Dostoyevsky without the religion and Russian connections. Anyway thanks to you Mr Almodovar for your decision to make this film as also to Ms Sarah Polley for making "Away from Her," some 10 years ago, another film that used the writings of Ms. Munro.
  • This feels like a very long and dull 'lifestyle' video, all bold colours, modern art, 'AirBnB' flats, 'Visit Spain' locations, Instagrammable clothes and nice (but not very original) shots. And past the style there is almost no substance. The script is bad, illogical, not believable and formulaic with more phoney coincidences than in a telenovela. The acting is stiff and cold with characters that do not inspire any feelings. 30 years as lovers, mothers, daughters, friends and they do not seem to share anything at all other than their very nice flats and houses? Compared to some previous Almodovar movies this feels like a dull visual exercise with no passion, no humour and very few ideas.
  • First of all, it is accurate to point that Julieta is a violent story. But it is not the usual and predictable pathological violence that we are used to, nor a voluptuous show that pretends to confront us with our hypocrisy. It is a portray of silence, about everyone's fear of adulthood, in a relative hysterical way. And that is exactly what one could identify at first in this story: a variation of the traditional humid and effervescent Spanish or Latin-American melodrama. It seems to be an opportunity for an adult consideration, dry and out of proportion.

    I belong to that audience which was educated, by the hand of the director, in the intensity of the stories made for women during the 90s and the last decade. We all were ladies in the corner of the cinema, accomplices of the tragedies that happened between high heels, pearls and sniffs of cocaine. Always intense, when everyone thought it was endless. But the impossible occurred and we got tired of Almodovar. With his last film I'm so excited the yawns appeared. We saw a tired and paranoiac Pedro, making those desperate attempts for recovering his own vitality. I didn't want to be part of the show, the spectacle of watching him, turned into a sad jester. I decided not to watch. The rumors and comments of my friends about the movie confirmed my choice to preserve his energy and delirium as a temple one could visit after lots of time or, maybe, never more.

    I decided to keep a distance from him. When I pass through the pirate stands in the center of Bogotá, I recognize immediately the covers of his old movies, discolored by the sunlight and time. I never thought on recognize them, but, on the contrary, on reject them and turn my look, as soon as a I can, from them. It happened exactly the same with the piles of books of García Márquez, Cortazar and other rotten icons that were exhibited over the spread-out beanbags all over the seventh and sixteenth streets of my city. His films were a buried topic. After some days of no chatting, one of my best friends called me in order to invite me to a film. I was completely unprepared, even thoughtful about how much was about to be discussed about our recent lives. I got late, as always. Fortunately, she offered to buy a sandwich for me, because the rush did not give me enough time to take a proper lunch. We laughed about the stupid trailers and, suddenly, I realized that we were about to watch the new Almodovar film.

    Emma Suárez is the face of a content violence, of a particular silence. Her wasted gestures, from time to time, are confronted to a famous Lucian Freud's portray that predicts something, like every wink from Almodovar does. Immediately, I remembered a review published in The Guardian about the exhibition Lucian Freud Portraits in the National Gallery, London, in which the journalist was aware of the disappearance of the limits of the forms in his late paintings. Then I understood that there was something out of control on what was pointed on Julieta, but that there was something of "late work" in Pedro's film as well. During the whole movie, I breathed a mature air which came from a story that took me to the limits of pain, feminity, silence and language. Silence was the original name of the movie, until it was known that Martin Scorsese's new film was planned to have exactly the same name. However, Julieta is not an invention, but a reference to three Alice Munro's short stories, which were gathered in one trilogy.

    Nevertheless, beyond how appropriate and box-office earner for a film based on a Nobel Prize story could be, there is a meeting point that the spectator could feel honest in-between these two languages. Nobody, even during the interviews, refers to the movie as an adaptation. It is an essay, a night meditation, about the stories of Munro. However, it is not in this point where the new vitality of the director lies, but in the exercise of interpreting. ¿Who would have thought on Pedro Almodovar talking about dry dramas, without any tears and glow, ten years before? This work is achieved by the acting of Adriana Ugarte but, specially, of Emma Suárez.
  • s-serletis26 November 2016
    No scenario,

    no plot,

    absurd screenplay,

    absolutely meaningless.

    You have million other things to do instead of watching this film.

    If you insist, beware of the upcoming disappointment, I keep wondering how this film got awards.

    A "cliche" idea given so badly on screen, unbelievable gaps and jumps, and what you get in the end is no answers at all about what happened.

    Looks like a pile of story fragments, with unrelated and inconsistent characters and correlations.

    Extremely slow and boring, thank Pedro it was not longer.
  • What happened to Almodovar. He used to be controversial, with great humor, provoking thoughts and sending the audience on a roller-coaster ride. And now this, a subtle indication of a daughter with mother issues and underlined homosexual tones, but no surprises really in store, a subtle story, but the subtlety never becomes anything but subtle and with no major impact - a half-hearted effort.

    This was a far cry from his master pieces like Talk to her, Volver and The skin I live in. Almost a waste of time, except for the nice landscapes and decent cinematography, I cannot believe he actually won best director for that movie, a shadow of his former self!
  • Well as he started his career bold and edgy doing fetish movies and got famous by shocking people then moved to dramatic life of real spanish people with a touch of lgbt people. I think his highlight was Volver where the story dialogs characters and screenplay was connected then he went mad with banderas the skin you live in now this one is a bad joke noone would watch this if it was not almadovar there are lots of dialogs does not even make sense after a while it was more a comedy than drama and ending is well there is no ending
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When a worthy artist gets to develop his work for a long time, we who follow his work are usually lucky enough to get new phases, new developments, reworks of his themes, and so on. That is the case with Almodóvar, and I don't know whether this film will be the first of a certain new phase, but it stands out in his work

    What he tries here is to gather the pieces of female souls which are more often than not the building blocks of his best work, and map them into the territory of the cinematic suspense as understood by Hitchcock. It's pretty ambitious and clever when you think about it: The audiences will recognize the genre, and go with it. So he uses the channel of genre, but twists the content. It's not a whodunit but it probably worked on me as a kind of an emotional noir. So this probably is the closest Almodóvar will ever get to making a genre film. In promotional interviews he assumed is attempt at making the whole thing as restrained as possible, and as such it is interesting to see him setting himself rules and refining his intuitions with reduction instead of enhancement, as he usually does.

    He proposes an emotional puzzle, the story of a broken soul, already know to the older Julieta, but not to us, and certainly not to the young Julieta. So the overlapping of the young and older Julieta becomes crucial in the understanding the narrative dimension that he proposes: 2 different actresses, and effectively two different characters, with a common set of memories, or better still: the younger exists in the memory, or as a memory, of the older. Both are obviously interconnected, and the writing device here is that the life and decisions of the young Julieta forms the basis for the emptiness of the older one. But we learn about the past mostly because the older Julieta writes about it, each half of her soul co-creating the other half. That's the device and the beauty of it. The connection point is underlined with a shot where a towel is dropped over young Julieta's face, and when it is lifted we find the suddenly aged, broken older one. That shot will be remembered, and again it has a kind of narrative economy which Hitchcock probably tried and mastered better than anyone else. That's the pivot to the whole concept.

    He than fills the narrative with a by now standard emotional field of relations and connections: Julieta casually knows a man on a train, while feeling repulsion towards another one whose presence as a symbolic meaning. He enters his life, already crowded by two women: one sinister Psycho/Rebecca type of mother figure, played by Rossy de Palma, and the other one who works on the level of desire, sexual fulfillment, played by Inma Cuesta. Julieta is an intruder, who comes to replace the figure of the wife in coma. She breaks the triangle first by removing the mother figure, and unwillingly causing the tragedy by trying to remove the sexual sculptor who creates phallic shaped artworks. Her daughter (conceived on a train) links the older Julieta to her former life. Julieta becomes Almodóvar's Vertigo, his woman who lived twice. But she is Stewart and Novak in one divided character, that's the trick.

    Other references to fate and destiny, like the menacing sea tempest announcing tragedy, the suicidal character on the train, or the Herrmann inspired soundtrack are only there to build the mood of this sentimental noir, built in chapters more separated and clear than anything Almodóvar has ever done. I'm guessing most of each section's inner structure was borrowed from Munro's short stories on which this is based, which i haven't read. But the working of the character's sounds Almodóvar. New (or renewed) but still him. A part from the already mentioned towel shot, the train section is the bit which worked better for me, the one where all the dynamics of the film are condensed and reduced.
  • Directing: 7 /Acting: 7 /Story: 8 /Production values: 6 /Suspence - Thriller level: 4 /Action: 0 /Mystery - unknown: 7 /Romance level: 6 /Comedy elements: 0
  • My interest in Almodovar is rather muted. He doesn't excel in any of the ways of presenting the world that really matter to me but he does several things more than well, so every so often I visit. There is the desire to submerge ourselves in fiction, lose ourselves to self in order to wake to a fabric that extends from self. That's Talk to Her for me.

    But like Woody Allen or the Coens, he has consistently worked for so long on the same motifs that coming to him is also a matter of is he particularly inspired that day. I'm pleased to say he is.

    In the individual pieces of cinematic craft, this is not particularly exceptional. If you're heavily inclined to how story resolves drama, you will see here something that simply trails off near the end. The symbolic motifs greet us upfront; a deer in slow-motion, tumultuous sea out the window. His bright reds on walls and the like are not something I can get excited about, in this or any film.

    But he is inspired today on the fundamental matter of self passing through self. He manages to do this with just a few strands of narrative. There is the young woman who was on her way to all life ahead of her that night on the train, who finds herself yanked by unexpected passion. There is the house of passion in the small fishing village, eerily explored with Hitchcock hues. And there is bewildering loss as she wanders away a widowed mother.

    Above all I love here the sense of transition. Almodovar does so well - his actress helps - in spinning narrative to explore tragedy. He says enough about the jittery urge for adventure as a story we throw ourselves in so that we can infer more fleeting illusion around the crushing melodrama about life breaking down. She's not just this grieving woman that another film, say, in the realist format would have simply followed around Madrid; we're privy to all this richness of her young self having set off in search. Things couldn't have only worked this way for her, it's important to see; but sometimes they do, sometimes setting out for open sea means finding yourself marooned on an island, nothing right or wrong.

    And Almodovar is ineluctably Spanish, meaning Catholic; so communion with the fleeting, transcendent stuff must take place firmly within ritual, in his case (just like Ruiz before) fiction. The whole is narrated by an author writing the story down as she waits in her apartment, shifting us forward and back. It speaks about the imaginative mind being burdened by the narratives of memory. For Almodovar, there is merit in the effort. Had she not stayed behind to write, she would have missed the letter. Even more pertinently for me, there is a bedridden mother (a mirrored woman) who is allowed to languish in her room, written off as an invalid. But when her daughter comes to visit, the recognition nourishes her back to her feet.
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