Festival favourite, Pedro Almodóvar returns to Toronto with Julieta, adapted from three short stories in Alice Munro’s prize-winning 2004 collection, Runaway. Almodóvar creates a multilayered portrait of a strained and estranged relationship between a mother and daughter.
We first meet Julieta (Emma Suárez) at 55 years old who is about to move from Madrid to Lisbon, Portugal with her partner Lorenzo (Darío Grandinetti). After an impromptu encounter, Julieta tells Lorenzo she can no longer move and ends their relationship.
The chance encounter is the precipitant for Julieta’s decision to remain in Madrid. Armed with hope, Julieta rents her old apartment in Madrid. Once settled, Julieta begins to write a letter to Antía hoping to clarify many misunderstandings between the two. Through an extended flashback, Almodóvar takes us from Antía’s conception to the point where mother and daughter drifted apart.
To avoid any major spoilers, all that is worth noting at this point is Julieta and Antía move to Madrid. Julieta tries to be a good parent but is unable to emotionally support her daughter. In a swift, times goes by we are back to the 55 year-old Julieta.
From Antxón Gómez’s production design and Sonia Grande’s costumes; as well as, Alberto Iglesias’ soft-jazz score add up to balance the story. Almodóvar’s work may seem too lavish or ornate for some. In Julieta, he gives us beauty in all the visuals along with an captivating adaptation. We find ourselves lost in Julieta’s memories; hoping for some resolution.
Sun Sept 11, 6:00pm at Visa Screening Room (Elgin)
Tues Sept 13, 12:15pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2