Pedro Almodovar is a Spanish director who has developed a great reputation. His latest film, Julieta, shows us why. It is a slick and stylish film, beautifully filmed. I found the whole film to be emotional and intense in a subtle kind of way. Julieta is played by two actresses, Adriana Ugarte plays the 25 year old and Emma Suarez, the middle aged version. I loved their acting and that of the other characters as well. Almodovar’s genius is illustrated by the fact that I didn’t even notice the changeover of the actresses in the middle of the film! For those who know his work, his use of colour (especially red) and wonderfully detailed settings will be familiar. For me it was just part of some great cinematography and story telling. And I loved the jazz music score and of course the sound of the Spanish language.
The plot is basically an amalgamation of three short stories by Alice Munro and reflect on the estrangement between Julieta and her daughter. Its all about grief, guilt and the burdens of life. And, like life, its not easy. From a Christian perspective it is intriguing the role that religion plays especially with the daughter seeking spiritual comfort (although we are never told exactly with which group or religion).
I found the whole film very moving and beautiful, but again with the frustrating aspect that in many ways it just again shows the hopelessness and the emptiness of life without Christ. I would have loved to have explored the daughter’s ‘spirituality’ and Julieta’s own understanding of the meaning of life….but that was just left to my imagination…
(note: there is one sexual scene at the beginning which is too explicit from my perspective and takes away from, rather than adds to the film).