5DoP #4 – Julieta (2016)

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This piece might sound a bit harsh and negative, but I like the film quite a bit, this is more a reactive opinion that I had at the time of watching it, and it expands upon that, after an overbearing amount of praise that had come to it.

by Jaime Grijalba.

I’m pretty sure some people at Cannes were ready to name ‘Julieta’ the best film of the year, and with reason, it was a highly anticipated return to form from a filmmaker that hadn’t yet received a Palme D’Or and at the same time had been ultimately under-represented in the usual slate of the great films (even though I think his ‘La piel que habito’ (2011, Almodóvar) isn’t only one of his best films, but also one of the best of this decade, but I digress). But then, the film happened, and they were confronted not with a career defining film, nor with a high mature masterpiece, nor with a film that would be completely different from what was expected from the Spaniard master at this point… but they were confronted with a perfectly fine film that conflated with the perspective of what a director like him would get to at his age and with the budget that he was given, and considering the source of the script, the Alice Munro short stories. There’s a clear struggle between the simplicity of the plot and how Almodóvar tries through all his means to make his much desired Hitchcock homage, and it works most times, but there are moments in which the way that the mystery and everything just doesn’t seem to work together. So, I’m pretty sure that for some it was a disappointment, for me… I’m glad that I saw it, but I’m pretty sure that if I see it again, I will hate it, why?

There’s literally no ending, no big liberation of emotions, and thus it can be labelled as a low-key Almodóvar, with at times too overbearing music and some obvious plot points, which bring down much of the appreciation that I could have for it. But, still it’s wonderfully performed, every actress (from Rossy to Ema) delivers everything onscreen, and the time passages are thoughtfully edited in a way that it makes the seamless passing of time all the more hurtful when it should. There are a couple of moments that manage to make you tense, and you can feel how there’s something much bigger and larger than their lives going on behind the beautiful faces of the performers. Every one of the actors give their best performances, it’s perfect for what the movie needs and they all have an element of interest that makes you focus on them and forget the rest of what’s happening. Ultimately, the emotions that I felt throughout the film were real, and while I’m going to be perfectly happy with seeing it this once and not seeing it again, I’m also quite confident in recommending it, as the elements that can be enjoyed individually are there for the pleasure of those who think that cinema is a collection of beautiful elements that are arranged on screen for the pleasure of those watching.

8/10

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One response to “5DoP #4 – Julieta (2016)

  1. Interesting review — many thanks for provoking some thoughts! I’m planning to watch the movie this weekend, and your account has suitably tantalized me!

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