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‘Julieta’ Review Roundup: Critics Say Pedro Almodóvar Hits Visual High Notes in Latest Female-Centered Film

'Julieta' Review Roundup: Critics Say Pedro Almodóvar Hits Visual High Notes in Latest Female-Centered Film

Writer-director Pedro Almodóvar is back again, showcasing another strong female performance in the film “Julieta.” Many film reporters believe the movie will receive its international debut at the Cannes Film Festival, although nothing has yet been confirmed. 

READ MORE: Cannes Wish List: 44 Films We Hope Make the Festival’s 2016 Lineup

“Julieta” is about the titular mother who has just lost her husband in Madrid. Her 18-year-old daughter also just ran away without any explanation. As Julieta attempts to find her, she realizes that she knows very little about her own child. Almodóvar stated his inspiration for the film was Alice Munro’s three short stories, “Chance,” “Soon” and “Silence,” which he bought the rights for in 2009. 

Although critics praise the film for its visual beauty and cinematic majesty, they lament Almodóvar’s script and his narrative decisions. Read the first batch of reviews below:

Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

“Superficially reminiscent of some of the auteur’s most female-centric stories, especially ‘All About My Mother,’ it’s a solid enough assembly to satisfy the director’s most passionate devotees worldwide, especially given the classy cast (featuring a few familiar faces as well as newcomers), predictably luscious-looking craft contribution and heavy seasoning of cinematic and high-art allusions. However, less invested viewers may feel nonplussed by the script’s meandering, unresolved mysteries, abrupt and untidily managed narrative bombshells, and quizzically motivated characters.”

Peter Debruge, Variety

“While ‘Julieta’ represents a welcome return to the female-centric storytelling that has earned Almodóvar his greatest acclaim, it is far from this reformed renegade’s strongest or most entertaining work. Instead, following the high-altitude frivolity of ‘I’m So Excited,’ the director’s relatively tame 20th feature finds him once again adopting a serious (read, ‘respectable’) attitude, eschewing comedy and high-camp melodrama in favor of plain old mellow drama.”

Fionnuala Halligan, Screendaily

“Pedro Almodóvar’s 20th feature is an anxious, tantalizing creature which returns the Spanish director to the exclusive world of women he visited in 2006’s Oscar-winning ‘Volver.’ Full of hints and omens, the sinuous ‘Julieta’ bears the darker marks of his recent Hitchcockian dramas ‘Broken Embraces’ and ‘The Skin I Live In,’ even though it’s all about a mother.”

Watch the trailer for “Julieta” below.

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