Pedro Almodóvar hasn’t won the Best Foreign Language Oscar since “All About My Mother” took the prize in 1999, but that might change this awards season as Spain has officially selected his new drama, “Julieta,” as its 2017 Oscar entry. The news comes after months of speculation as to which title the country would choose, but Almodóvar always seemed like a safe bet given that he’s represented Spain a previous five times at the Academy Awards. The country has won gold four times, most recently in 2005 for Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Sea Inside.”
“Julieta” follows the titular character at two critical points in her life. In 2015, she (Emma Suarez) is on the verge of madness when she loses her husband and her 18-year-old daughter runs away, but 30 years prior, her younger self (Adriana Ugarte) lives a prosperous life. The drama first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and is set to hit the fall awards circuit with stops at NYFF and more.
In his review out of Cannes, IndieWire Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn was slightly disappointed with the director’s 20th feature, writing, “‘Julieta’ mainly disappoints because it feels like the kind of straightforward, unadventurous drama that the filmmaker generally excels at reinventing through his own peculiar vision. This time, he plays it too safe.” Spain clearly feels otherwise.
“Julieta” opens in U.S. theaters on December 21.