This Oscar-winning drama, based on the writing of Lillian Hellman, depicts the relationship between two friends and its unexpected consequences. After Lillian, a renowned playwright, reunites in Russia with her childhood playmate Julia, the writer is recruited to smuggle funds into Germany to aid the anti-Nazi movement. Waiting in the wings is Lillian's lover and mentor, Dashiell Hammett, who is unaware of her dangerous assignment. Written by
To rediscover Julia in 2017 is an absolute thrill. It was thrilling the first time round but, as it happens, nine times out of ten, thrills don't travel well. Here is the exception. Time, through Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave has added an extra coat of guts and truth. They were magnificent then and they are magnificent now. As actresses, as women. The friendship of Lilli and Julia is a landmark of historical, artistic and human proportions. Fred Zinnemann, the director, clearly knew what he was dealing with, brilliantly. Julia also counts with the extraordinary Jason Robards as Dashiel Hammett and, my goodness, Meryl Streep! in a small but memorable part, making her film debut. I believe this is one of those rare films that will be relevant for ever.
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