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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Julieta (2016)

A woman (Emma Suarez) is estranged from her daughter for almost 12 years. A chance encounter on the street with the daughter's one time best friend (Michelle Jenner) sets her to reflect on how she met the child's father (Daniel Grao) and the circumstances leading to the estrangement. After the slightly amusing but highly forgettable I'M SO EXCITED (2013), director Pedro Almodovar is in top form again! Very loosely based on some short stories from RUNAWAY by Alice Munro, Almodovar's film touches on a variety of subjects: pain, loss, mourning, guilt, lonlieness, communication and misunderstanding among them. The Sirk influence is still there but very muted, melodrama desaturated. The performances of the two lead actresses, Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte playing a younger version of Suarez, are excellent and so seamless that for a few minutes I didn't notice the transition of one actress to the other. Rich in detail, splendidly lensed by Jean Claude Larrieu and a fine underscore by Alberto Iglesias, you won't find any of Almodovar's humor, subtle or otherwise here. It's a rather somber affair but Almodovar retains his position as one of international cinema's premier filmmakers. With Rossy De Palma, Inma Cuesta and Dario Grandinetti.

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