The new Almodóvar girls

Spain’s most famous director returns to the female universe with his new feature

Elsa Fernández-Santos
Emma Suárez y Adriana Ugarte.
Emma Suárez y Adriana Ugarte.gorka lejarcegi / bernardo pérez

Silencio, the new movie by Pedro Almodóvar, marks a return to the filmmaker’s predilection for female universes: mothers, daughters, grandmothers, friends and absent fathers.

On Thursday, his production company El Deseo announced the cast of Almodóvar’s 20th movie, and the list of names includes top-billed Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte, two actresses who will be working with Spain’s best-known filmmaker for the first time.

Suárez and Ugarte will play the same character, a woman named Julieta, throughout three decades, spanning 1985 to 2015.

‟Julieta’s best personal period was in the 1980s, and right now her life is a complete mess,” reads the press release. ‟Only a miracle can save her. And miracles sometimes do happen...”

Only a miracle can save Julieta. And miracles sometimes do happen...”

Little else is revealed about a story that revolves around ‟destiny, a guilt complex and an unfathomable mystery: abandoning a loved one.”

Julieta, a woman ‟struggling to survive on the edge of madness,” is surrounded by supporting characters who are nevertheless ‟essential” to the story: Inma Cuesta, ‟the faithful and unfaithful friend,” Rossy de Palma (a longtime favorite of Almodóvar’s who appeared in movies such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) as the ‟surly, competitive servant,” Nathalie Poza, who represents ‟intransigence and moral superiority”), Pilar Castro, a liberal travel companion, and more.

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The men in her life are her lover, her father and ‟the man,” a Galician fisherman. There is one final character who is essential to the story: Julieta and the fisherman’s daughter, played by a young actress named Blanca Parés. ‟Most of the silence makes reference to her,” explains the press release.

Shooting for Silencio will begin in May and extend throughout the summer in various Spanish locations, from the Rías Altas estuaries of Galicia to the mountains of Huelva, Madrid and the Pyrenees.

Almodóvar’s last movie was the comedy I’m So Excited!, which he completed in September 2012 and released in 2013.

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