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Julieta (Emma Suarez) is a middle-aged woman living in Madrid with her boyfriend Lorenzo. Both are going to move to Portugal when she casually runs into Bea, former best friend of her daughter Antia, who reveals that this one is living in Switzerland 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, 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. 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 ... Written by
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.
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