Canadian author Alice Munro may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for Pedro Almodovar, but it’s to Munro’s short story collection Runaway Almodovar looks for his first film since 2013s I’m So Excited. Loosely adapted from stories Chance, Soon, and Silence, which tells the story of the three stages of a woman’s life through a love affair, a journey home, and the loss of a child; Almodovar covers 30 years in the life of Julieta (Emma Suarez in the present, Adriana Ugarte in the past). It moves back and forth in-between periods, rarely breaking to remind that what’s on screen is Julieta’s version of events. Almodovar maintains Munro’s talent for gradual reveals, giving the changing relationship between Julieta and her daughter Antia (Bianca Pares as an 18-year-old, Priscilla Delgado as a teenager) a thriller-like suspense. But while Almodovar brings Munro’s evocative text with his usual colour and vibrance, Julieta lacks the pulse that typically makes his films so delectable and seductive. Despite only being just over 90 minutes long, the film is already starting to peter out before the final moments of Julieta’s journey unfold.