Movie Review: Pedro Almodóvar directs his new melodrama, Julieta, like a tense thriller

Near the end of Julieta, Pedro Almodóvar’s latest feature, a man tells the title character that he’d been following her around for a while from a distance, but finally stopped because he realized he was turning into an obsessive stalker from a Patricia Highsmith novel. Almodóvar also wrote the film’s screenplay, and that Highsmith reference is his sly wink at viewers who’ve noticed that certain elements of Julieta—suspicious, seemingly inexplicable behavior; the recurring use of blood red; Alberto Iglesias’ urgent score—suggest the sort of elegant thriller in which the author specialized. (Famous movies adapted from her work include Strangers On A Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley.) This isn’t a thriller, though, and its actual source is three connected short stories by a very different writer, Alice Munro. Almodóvar has directed what’s basically a melodrama as if it were a thriller—a …

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