The last film we saw from Pedro Almodóvar was I’m so excited. It was not very good. By his usual standards anyway. I was hoping that with Julieta we would get a good and juicy Almodóvar. Something to reassure us that he still can produce some good films. The film was inspired by Chance, Soon and Silence, three Alice Munro short stories, from her book Runaway. Munro is the Canadian author, who was celebrated with the 2013 Nobel prize in literature as a “master of the contemporary short story”. No less! I have not read Runaway, so it is difficult to decipher what belongs to Munro, especially since the three short stories became a single story film. It starts in modern-day Madrid, where middle-aged Julieta Acros (Emma Suárez) is about to move to Portugal with her boyfriend, Lorenzo (Darío Grandinetti). When she finds out that her estranged daughter Antia is living in Switzerland and has three children, she decides to cancel her plan and stay in Spain. Without telling Lorenzo the reason, she rents the old Madrid apartment where she raised Antia. She does so because she thinks it is the only place where Antia can get in touch with her. Julieta starts writing a diary recounting what happened in the past, in the hopes that Antia will some day read it. Flashback to the 80s, where a young Julieta (now played by Adriana Ugarte) meets Antia’s father, fisherman Xoan (Daniel Grao). Julieta soon moves in with him where housekeeper Marian (Rossy de Palma) is very open about her disapproval of the new arrangement. A series of tragedies and events will prevent Julieta and Antia from ever finding happiness. I found this latest film by Almodóvar totally underwhelming and unexciting. So much so that I cannot see what it is that interested him here. I have no enthusiasm for this film. Nada!
Based on short stories from Runaway by Alice Munro
Rossy de Palma
In Spanish with English subtitles.