The first rule about not being in Cannes is that you can still talk about Cannes.
There is a certain efficiency about Julieta, which appears less showy than we tend to expect from Almodóvar. Julieta (Emma Suárez) is a mature woman looking to retire and vanish to Portugal with her man (Darío Grandinetti). But life events can change your plans, dramatically. From there Julieta narrates her love story (in flashback) with a fisherman in her younger days and the oncoming life over three decades. Adapted from a series of short stories by Pulitzer-winning Alice Munro (Runaway: Chance, Soon and Silence), the flamboyant Almodóvar still opts for the glowing palettes of red and green for what is something of a mellow drama, and brings out some compelling acting from his actresses. Although it zips along nicely, the rather watered down effort in comparison to some of his great works it might not attract repeated viewings, which the Spanish director was apparently aiming for.
As the latter half of Cannes’ in competition films struggle to maintain the extraordinary quality of those first few days, I’d say given his stature Almodóvar’s effort may be too far down the pecking order to maintain the Jury’s appeal.
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