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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
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.
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