Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
The film spans 30 years in Julieta’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.
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★★★½ review by Juan Castillo on Letterboxd
Tras lo del avión siniestrado de 2013, Pedro Almodóvar escoge el tren y la barca pesquera para volver al drama, a las madres (y padres) y a las hijas. Las cosas que me seducen y las que me espantan del manchego vuelven a quedar expuestas en pie de igualdad, provocando la familiar sensación de caminar constantemente por esa evanescente frontera que separa lo excelso de lo ridículo. Diría yo que esta vez los aciertos superan, aunque a duras penas, a los tropiezos, y me atrevería a asegurar, osado de mí, que eso se debe a que esta vez Almodóvar se abstuvo de saturar la trama con infinidad de personajes fuertes, intensos o pretendidamente memorables. Personalmente y salvo alguna honrosa excepción, suelo decantarme por sus películas con elencos reducidos y, por contra, a sus terribles filmes corales de los 90s no los quiero tocar ya ni con un palo.
Julieta es felizmente cartesiana en ese aspecto, con lo que las dificultades para su digestión, en mi caso, se reducen a lo forzado de algunos planteamientos, a lo retórico de muchos de sus diálogos -también al metrónomo que los acompasa- y a la manía de salpimentarlo todo con sus guiños culturales (esta vez le ha tocado, por ejemplo, a Ryuichi Sakamoto, a Lucian Freud o a Patricia Highsmith. Curiosamente, ninguna mención a Rubén Blades, jeje).
Pero es justo decir que, si bien me parece que el director de Átame es un narrador errático, creo que es un excepcional generador de hallazgos formales. Esta cinta ha adoptado como mascarón de proa uno de ellos (el momento de la toalla, una brillantísima solución narrativa, sin entrar en más detalles), pero no es el único, ni el mejor: la asociación que se establece entre la anatomía y el gesto de dos de los protagonistas y la obra de Ava, la escultora, para transmitir la evolución en la relación de ellos tres es otro instante sobresaliente.
Como sobresaliente es el exquisita atención a los detalles de ambientación, desde el estilismo hasta la aparición de vehículos o teléfonos móviles, en una historia que transcurre a lo largo de los últimos 20 años (cifra jodida, a mi juicio).
Si sumamos a todo ello la hermosa reflexión que transmite la película, sobre lo indulgentes que somos como madres (y padres) y lo severos que son nuestros juicios como hijos (e hijas), pues creo que estoy en el grupo de los Romeos que le han salido a esta Julieta.
★★★★ review by Brendan Michaels on Letterboxd
My first Almodóvar film left me with a great impression on him that I've been having with seeing many well known directors films releasing this year. Julieta will be called unoriginal or undaring but really all that matters is how it was told and Julieta is a beautifully told film.
★★★★½ review by Milez Das on Letterboxd
As Antía dries Julieta's hair, hiding her face as she has been drowned in sorrow, we see a new Julieta finding herself in the angst.
Julieta is about relationships and death. Part of our lives that happen eventually. As Julieta looks into her past looking for thread that would have made her daughter Anita move away, we see how much hidden everything was. Not just about Julieta but everyone who was part of it.
I never really thought when I started the movie that I would be in love and depressed at the same time. It wore me down as I was eating my Chocolate Chip Ice cream.
Even when I look at Julieta and how she handled everything in her life you can assume that at parts regarding her relationship with her father was a little hypocrite from her part. Julieta was strong but vulnerable at most of the time. She was in guilt about that persons death.
When the scene comes where Julieta meets Bea at the court and reveals what happened between her and Antia, the surprise face of her not knowing what was happening in her daughters life all this time and why she left. Yes, Julieta was depressed and had to be taken care for but even after she never really had conversations with Antia.
There are layers to each character. No character is showing their true self. It is there out in the open and it is also the best place place to hide.
Written and Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, he portrays every woman in this film with delicacy. He shows a passion that had Julieta driven for a while, love and death that she faced over time. Depression and sorrow. He showed how everything was missing from her life, how everyone was in shadows on themselves.
Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte as Julieta Arcos play the character to perfection. Their performances captured the emotional depth and guilt which strained on the Julieta.
Also, at times you might want to scream at Julieta saying 'Julieta, they are lesbians' tbh. Even Julieta and Ava had the undertones of making a relationship but Pedro just kept it into freindzone.
Julieta is something beautiful, truthful and delicately crafted story. It holds onto its brilliant performances, the passion, love, depression, sadness and guilt. As this was my first from the great filmmaker I can't wait to watch rest of his filmography.,
★★★½ review by CJ Probst on Letterboxd
I can add this to my long list of films by Pedro Almodovar that I felt were good but not great. If you are not familiar with the Spanish phenom's previous work, it should be said that perhaps no one has so successfully been able to channel the suspense building prowess of Alfred Hitchcock as does Pedro Almodovar. He is his direct disciple and infuses all of his stories with psycho-sexual themes that ever since the 1980s, have felt cutting edge and willing to encroach the line of what is considered taboo by a popular conservative opinion. Almodovar has been critical in bringing homosexuality, transgenders and even just sexuality in general into mainstream contemporary cinema. So, there is no doubt that there is a great talent at work here, and even more so, a culturally important one.
Julieta is another solid entry into his film canon and is on par with most of his previous works. The guy doesn't make poor films. However, his films always have this exaggerated tone similar to the type to be found in a Spanish telenovela. It is because of this that his films fail to completely blow me away, I am always entertained but also partially held at arms length with Almodovar's films. Julieta is no different, slick and technically smooth, it looks beautiful and features some wonderful performances. The problem for me is that although he demonstrates his usual masterclass in tension build-up for an intriguing screenplay, in the end he goes nowhere with it. The film has a lot of his usual melodrama and puts all the pieces in place for a truly interesting third act but then chooses to just fizzle out. Some people will like the open-ended finale but I don't feel that there were enough plot developments in the rest of the film to justify this conclusion. You will have to take it simply as a character study but that is not the tone that Almodovar has set for this one. Just listen to the music in it, it even sounds like Psycho. It feels like there should have been another 20 minutes of film at the end that simply were not there.
★★★★½ review by Martin28 on Letterboxd
A simply stunning character study of melancholia and familial strife, Julieta is a dazzling carpet puller. From opening frame to closing credits the tension builds, the intrigue blooms and the plot thickens. I would not be surprised if this got some Oscar love next year beyond Best Foreign Language film. If there's any justice, Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte should both clash to take home the Best Actress Oscar next year. Each giving incredibly subtle, understated and deeply tender performances. I love Julieta.
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