Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Wunderkind auteur, Spanish Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar returns to TIFF ’16 with JULIETA, a melodramatic female-centric Film that focuses on guilt and grief. Adapted from short stories written by Nobel prize winner, Alice Munro, the Movie opens in Madrid with Julieta (Emma Suarez) about to move to Portugal with her lover until a chance meeting with her estranged daughter’s best friend. Abandoning her plans, she stays behind in Madrid and starts to write a Memoir trying to figure out why her daughter no longer wants anything to do with her, which Almodovar presents via a series of flashbacks with Adriana Ugarte playing the younger Julieta.
Much like legendary Hollywood Director George Cukor, Almodovar excels in bringing-out outstanding performances by actresses and JULIETA is no exception. The two ladies playing the title character, as well as Rossy de Palma in a supporting role as a housekeeper that channels the character Mrs. Danvers in the Hitchcock classic Rebecca, are compelling and keeps the interest in this Movie throughout. What the Movie lacks is focus and subtlety. The story and musical score is so melodramatic and off-putting that it borders on a parody, cliché-ridden Ross Hunter production. I miss the Almodovar Movies of the past – they were audacious, salacious and bodacious.
JULIETA screens at TIFF:
Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM VISA SCREENING ROOM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:15 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2