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Out 26th August

Pedro Almodóvar may be the most widely-respected director working in Europe today, but over the last decade his output has been patchy; while The Skin I Live In was a dazzlingly inventive, structurally-ingenious triumph, Broken Embraces and I’m So Excited revisited old ground less successfully than his earlier films. Now the Spanish auteur has returned to making the mellow ‘women’s pictures’ that are arguably his greatest strength – and after its premiere at Cannes, critics are saying Julieta is his best film since Volver. An adaptation of three inter-related short stories by Alice Munro, it tells the story of an older woman who hasn’t seen her daughter in decades and doesn’t even know she has grandchildren. After a chance meeting with a former friend, she discovers her daughter’s still alive and sits down to write her a letter/diary, explaining the circumstances leading up to their estrangement. Expect Almodóvar’s visual and emotional palette to be as intense as ever, his signature theme of female relationships to be centre stage, and a non-linear narrative that’s both absorbing and thrilling – although what’s gradually revealed isn’t any kind of crime but the character of the leading lady herself.

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