Spanish director Pedro Almod贸var has given Adriana Ugarte, the central actress of his new film Julieta, his current hairstyle鈥攑uffy and white like a seeding dandelion. It鈥檚 as if he鈥檚 trying to place himself into this narrative he so admires鈥攁s the youngest, hottest Julieta, who gets to have sex on a moving train.

Julieta is based on three stories from Canadian author Alice Munro鈥檚 2004 short story collection Runaway. They follow a young classics professor through various dramatic episodes of her life: a romantic meeting on a train, introducing her young daughter to her parents, and searching for her child when she goes missing. Munro鈥檚 tone in her stories is unflaggingly Canadian鈥攄espite their difficult predicaments, her characters eat up their emotions like piping hot poutine while staring stonily at the sea. So Canadian!

Knowing this鈥攁nd also knowing of Amod贸var鈥檚 admiration for Munro, as her books have appeared in his previous films鈥擨 was excited to see the hot, gender-bending lava of Almod贸var鈥檚 filmmaking meet the cold, austere, ocean-like resilience of Munro and her refusal to let her characters get worked up. HISSSS! I was not disappointed. Julieta is great. It鈥檚 still very Almod贸var (The sets are RED and people are FIGHTING!), but it鈥檚 pared back in a way that recalls 2006鈥檚 restrained Volver more than 2011鈥檚 bonkers The Skin I Live In. In Julieta, Almod贸var focuses on the tremendous loss he鈥檚 decided Julieta must feel, as opposed to Munro鈥檚 insistent, stony resilience. Then he just straight-up changes the ending. Almod贸var鈥檚 Julieta is like a cover; a rock or emo version of Munro鈥檚 cool, classic folk song. recommended