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From "Pentimento," the memoirs of late playwright Lillian Hellman, JULIA covers those years in the 1930s when Lillian attained fame with the production of her first play "The Children's Hour" on Broadway. Not surprisingly, it centers on Lillian's relationship with her lifelong friend, Julia. It is a relationship that goes beyond mere acquaintance and one for which the word "love" seems appropriate. While Julia attends the University in Vienna, studying with such luminaries as Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, Lillian suffers through revisions of her play with her mentor and sometimes lover Dashiell Hammett at a New England beach house. After becoming a celebrated playwright, Lillian is invited to a writers' conference in Russia. Julia, having taken up the battle against fascism, enlists Lillian to smuggle money through Nazi Germany which will assist in the Anti-Fascist cause. It is a dangerous mission especially for a Jewish intellectual on her way to communist Russia. During a brief... Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave continued their streak of formidable roles with "Julia". Lillian Hellman (Jane Fonda) was childhood friends with affluent Julia (Vanessa Redgrave). Julia has since abandoned her wealth and devoted her life to fighting Fascism. She is currently helping the resistance movements in Europe. Lillian decides to bring some American currency to help Julia in her struggles. While in Europe, she can certainly see the imprint of Nazism.
This movie does a masterful job not only showing the takeover by the Nazis, but it also puts some other things in perspective. Since I saw it a few days before the US invaded Iraq, I got the feeling of a similarity in that way. Maybe the fact that someone in my dormitory was playing a somber song on the piano (it may have been the "Schindler's List" theme music) also contributed to that. But either way, the perfect direction, script, cinematography, and performances by Fonda and Redgrave, plus Jason Robards Jr as Dashiell Hammett and Maximilian Schell as Julia's friend Johann, make this a perfect movie.
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