Pedro Almodóvar returns with another triumphant feature dominated by women. Julieta unfolds like a Hitchcockian thriller minus any real sense of danger. Still, Julieta (Emma Suárez) has a secret involving her daughter, Antía, that is serious enough to threaten her relationship with Lorenzo Gentile (Darío Grandinetti), with whom she had been planning to move to Portugal. The film unfolds piece by mysterious piece, thanks to Julieta’s revelatory recall of her life, and it is an emotionally rending tale.
Almodóvar intriguingly plays with time and his actresses. The performances of Suarez and Adriana Ugarte sync into one Julieta, as do the two actresses (Priscilla Delgado and Blanca Pares) who play Antía. The film, its locales and performers are gorgeous. Almodóvar seems to paint the scenes of Julieta’s seaside home. More subtle than some of the auteur’s past work, Julieta still pulls viewers along until its satisfyingly not-quite-conclusive conclusion.