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Posts Tagged ‘Pedro Almodovar’

and as the two Julietas

Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suarez as the two Julietas

“JULIETA” My rating: B

99 minutes | MPAA rating: R

No contemporary director has examined mother/daughter relationships with the consistency or insight of Spain’s Pedro Almodovar.

At one time his latest effort, “Julieta,” would have been described as a “women’s picture.” But that superficial label fails to take into account the panache Almodovar brings to all of his projects (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Volver”).

Romantic loss has been his frequent topic.  “Julieta” takes a different approach, being a saga about parental loss.

Drawn from three short stories by Canadian author Alice Munro, the screenplay opens with a chance encounter on a Madrid street between the 50-something Julieta (Emma Suarez) and Bea, the childhood best friend of her daughter Antia.

Bea reports that she recently ran into her old friend at Lake Como, where Antia was shopping with her children.

Julieta is stunned. A dozen years earlier the teenage Antia vanished into a cult. Bea’s report is the first real proof that her daughter is still alive and that Julieta is now a grandmother.

Overnight everything changes. Julieta scraps plans to relocate with her boyfriend to Portugal. She moves back into the same building where she once shared a flat with Antia, desperately hoping that her daughter will come looking for her there.

And she is compelled to write down important incidents from her past.

In these elaborate flashbacks we follow the steamy relationship of the young Julieta (now played by Adriana Ugarte) with Xoan (Daniel Grao), a hunky fisherman. Their union produces Antia.

TO READ THE REST OF THIS REVIEW VISIT THE KANSAS CITY STAR WEBSITE AT http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/movies-news-reviews/article129896079.html

| Robert W. Butler

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Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya

“THE SKIN I LIVE IN”  My rating: B 

117 minutes |  MPAA rating: R

“The Skin I Live In” is one spectacularly sick movie.

I kinda loved it.

This heady mashup of “Frankenstein”/mad scientist horror story, sexual fantasy, revenge yarn and existential escape caper shows Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodovar indulging numerous of his well-chronicled obsessions.

The resulting film is simultaneously creepy and beautiful. Think of it as a less offensive (but equally disturbing) “Human Centipede” for the art house crowd.

Vera (Elena Anaya) is the only patient in a private clinic in the home of brilliant plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Almodovar stalwart Antonio Banderas).

Vera lives in a hermetically sealed, sterile-looking room. She wears a form-clinging body stocking outfitted with various flaps and zippers so that Robert can examine his handiwork. Clearly, Vera has undergone some major skin grafts.

What tragedy — accident, disease or birth defect — required such extensive surgery? (more…)

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