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Being Julia

Passion. Obsession. Revenge. Prepare For The Performance Of A Lifetime 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Being Julia

Based on a novella by W. Somerset Maugham, Being Julia is about a famous but tired out 1930s stage actress, named Julia Lambert (Benning). Her once exciting life has become dull and monotonous and she complains about it to her equally dull husband and manager Michael Gosselyn (played by Jeremy Irons). Things brighten up for Julia when she meets Tom Fennell (Shaun Evans), a handsome young American fan of hers. However, sooner or later he turns out to be a social climber actually besotted with young starlet Avice Crichton. Julia’s heart is broken, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t plotting a dramatic revenge.

Annette’s character Julia is a wonderful mix of a bitchy, overbearing and egocentric middle-aged woman, but with a youthful theatrical sparkle that makes you cheer her on as she carries out her callous actions. Julia herself is often over the top and melodramatic, yet clearly deeply hurt by the way she has been treated. Annette Benning carries this off with a really dramatic and explosive performance. The excellent supporting cast features Michael Gambon as Julia’s coach, Juliet Stevenson as Lambert’s assistant and Miriam Margolyes as the theatre owner.

Being Julia is a very theatrical period comedy with, like many good comedies, not much else to it, though you could see it as about getting old, the power of love and of performance. How you can see it is up to you, but when you can see it is written above.

Parker Bic

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)