Pedro Almodovar's Julieta is a marvellous and thoroughly enjoyable film. It's tense and dark at times, but visually colourful, bright and, engaging. It felt as though I were watching a work of some considerable refinement. Julieta is also proof that a good film is more than just a good story, and that a film may be improved immeasurably depending on the way in which its story is told. Here, there are many mood changes, and the sequence of the telling, the arrangement of events, and the focus with which we see and hear, mean that from the very beginning I was never quite sure where the story would go next. I detected a few nods to Hitchcock, as well as previous Almodovar films, and the attention to detail lavished on a film which somehow manages to make over 35 years of a life fly by at a semi-sprint was expert and mouth-gapingly impressive.
It is a characteristic of our age that those people that produce creative work (filmmakers, artists, musicians, writers, actors, dancers, whoever) are now not only judged by their work, but the life that goes into the work, the life and experiences that experience the work, and we view their work through the lens of their experience, much more than our own. All of this is to say that Julieta exudes the deftness a master somewhere around their apex, with motifs, colours, contours and nuances that would not be possible without the prior work. Having said that, no prior knowledge of Almodovar's work is needed to bathe in Julieta's beauty, tenderness and dexterity.