Pedro Almodóvar wanted to make Julieta in English with Meryl Streep but got cold feet regarding his command of the language. (The same consideration kept him from making the film adaptation of The Paperboy, which Lee Daniels wound up doing.) That’s a shame, but his movie is perfectly fine as it is, which you can see when it screens at the Modern this weekend.
Based on three Alice Munro stories about a woman named Juliet, the Spanish film stars Emma Suárez as a middle-aged Madrid woman who scuttles a long-planned move to Portugal after a chance encounter on the street with her daughter’s childhood best friend (Michelle Jenner). That prompts her to instead write a long missive to her daughter telling the story of her life, including her daughter’s sudden and unexplained refusal to see her 12 years before. Almodóvar trademarks — stylish production design, sun-dappled surfaces, and thriller-like music — are all here, as are deep, layered performances by both Suárez and Adriana Ugarte as the young Julieta, whose travels and tragedies take her from Catalonia’s windswept, rocky coast to the sun-baked plains of Andalusia. After the director’s poorly received I’m So Excited! three years ago, this is a nice return to form.
Julieta runs Fri-Sun at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $7-9. Call 817-738-9215.