Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar talks at a press conference in Cannes about his new film JULIETA, which is screening in competition.

Pedro Almodovar talks at a press conference in Cannes about his new film JULIETA, which is screening in competition.

JULIETA, a new film by Pedro Almodovar, talks about the mother’s struggle to survive uncertainty. It also talks about fate, about guilt and unfathomable mystery that leads us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from our lives as if they had never meant anything, as if they had never existed.

Julieta lives in Madrid with her daughter Antía. They both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan, Antía’s father and Julieta’s husband. But at times grief doesn’t bring people closer, it drives them apart.

When Antía turns eighteen she abandons her mother, without a word of explanation. Julieta looks for her in every possible way, but all she discovers is how little she knows of her daughter.

JULIETA marks my return to the female universe. Almost all the actresses in its long cast were new to me. I had only worked previously with Rossy de Palma and Susi Sánchez. One of the risks I faced from the beginning was that of using two different actresses for Julieta. Adriana Ugarte from twenty five to forty, and Emma Suárez from forty onward. I’m not in favor of the same actress playing all the ages of the same character. I don’t trust the effects of make-up for aging, and it’s almost impossible for a young woman of twenty five to have the presence of someone of fifty. It isn’t a matter of wrinkles, it’s something more profound, the passing of time, on the outside and on the inside.

I accept the convention in the theater, but I reject it in the cinema. But it is risky to use two different women, especially in a film in which one of the characters, Ava, isn’t divided but is played by the same actress, Inma Cuesta. Now I’m happy about having taken that decision. And I think that Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suárez now form part of my particular Olympus where they rub shoulders with Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril, Marisa Paredes and Cecilia Roth, my muses, says Pedro Almodovar

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Almost all my films gain the second time they’re seen. JULIETA will certainly be enjoyed more when you’ve already seen it and know the story. I’d like to persuade my brother to offer a free second viewing to people who have already seen the film. You don’t know everything about people or enjoy their company when you meet them for the first time. The same thing happens with JULIETA, concludes Pedro Almodovar