The film spans 30 years in Julietaâ€™s life from a nostalgic 1985 where everything seems hopeful, to 2015 where her life appears to be beyond repair and she is on the verge of madness.
|Release Date||:||April 8, 2016|
|Production Company||:||El Deseo, TVE, Canal+ France, CinĂ© +|
|Writers||:||Pedro AlmodĂłvar, Alice Munro|
|Casts||:||Emma SuĂˇrez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Michelle Jenner, DarĂo Grandinetti, Rossy de Palma, Nathalie Poza, AgustĂn AlmodĂłvar, Mariam Bachir, Pilar Castro, Jorge Pobes, Bimba BosĂ©, Susi SĂˇnchez, Priscilla Delgado, TomĂˇs del Estal, Blanca ParĂ©s, Esther GarcĂa, JoaquĂn Notario, David DelfĂn, Paqui Horcajo, Sara JimĂ©nez, Elena Benarroch, RamĂłn Aguirre, Charles Centa, Jimena Solano, MarĂa Mera, Lupe Roda, RamĂłn Ibarra, Lola GarcĂa, Bimba BosĂ©|
|Plot Keywords||:||spain, sex, depression, baby, secret, nudity, lover, pain, female friendship, marriage, friendship, autobiography, love, loneliness, mother daughter relationship, pregnant, hospital, single mother, guilt, death, happiness, childhood, maturity, mother daughter estrangement, flashback, madrid spain, memories, troubled family|
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 Â– 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 Â– which led to her loss Â– 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.