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The death of Raul Julia closed the door to a career still peaking. This film provides one of his great showcases, and fans will savor his powerhouse performance.
Taken as a Citizen Kane-type film about a self-made Greek billionaire, this is very entertaining and would be an excellent story. However, as a biography of Aristotle Onassis it falls flat.
For starters, Julia looks nothing like Onassis. He's the wrong height, build, nationality, and is certainly much handsomer. Though great to watch, he never is able to convince you that he is Onassis. But since Julia was usually cast in showy supporting roles, admirers will appreciate this film for his wealth of dialogue and emotion.
Supporting cast is unimpressive. Elias Koteas is awkward in his first-act showcase as young Aristotle, and I can't see how Jane Seymour received an Emmy for her overblown performance, while Julia was not even nominated. Francisca Annis fairs better as Jackie Kennedy, but the presentation of Jackie is too quaint for it's own good, all information provided can be found in an encyclopedia entry.
Oddly enough, Anthony Quinn as Julia's father looks significantly more like Onassis than Julia, but his hammy appearance indicates why he would not have served well in the main role.
Recommended strongly for fans of Raul Julia, everyone else would probably not be interested.
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