Julieta (15) – A Preview

Director: Pedro Almodóvar.

Starring: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao

15 cert; 98 mins

Although based on three Alice Munro short stories, Almodóvar’s latest movie seamlessly blends Munro’s discreet narratives into a textured and satisfying examination of the eponymous heroine’s life with skill and sensitivity. Having improbably transferred the action from Canada to Spain, he also tacitly demonstrates the universality of its themes of love, loss and guilt.

Jean-Claude Larrieu’s colour drenched cinematography combined with Alberto Iglesias’s sumptuous score make for a heady brew of sound and vision, completely in tune with Almodóvar’s heightened presentation of a life heartbreakingly defined by absence. In a signature move, he has Juliet played by both Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte – something that is so much more than a device to handle the film’s great sweep of time. Unabashedly switching between the younger and elder (with a brilliantly staged transition thrown in for good measure) Almodóvar invites his audience to reflect on how people change, and change absolutely.

It would be a great pity if, as a result of the misfiring I’m so Excited, folk are disinclined to give Almodóvar another chance. Julieta is a resounding return to form – the ambition of Volver combined with the tender melancholy of Talk to Her.

Buy tickets for the film here

By David Vass