Midsummer night, 1894, in northern Sweden. The complex strictures of class bind a man and a woman. Miss Julie, the inexperienced but imperious daughter of the manor, deigns to dance at the servant's party. She's also drawn to Jean, a footman who has traveled, speaks well, and doesn't kowtow. He is engaged to Christine, a servant, and while she sleeps, Jean and Miss Julie talk through the night in the kitchen. For part of the night it's a power struggle, for part it's the bearing of souls, and by dawn, they want to break the chains of class and leave Sweden together. When Christine wakes and goes off to church, Jean and Miss Julie have their own decisions to make. Written by
Mike Figgis originally planned to make this with Nicolas Cage and Juliette Binoche. However, when he made _Leaving Las Vegas_ with Cage, the actor's salary was a manageable $200,000. Following his Oscar win, Cage's price shot up to $20 million. See more »
Nothing outside of Saffron Burrows and Peter Mullan exists while watching this film. I sadly missed it in the theatre, but rented it just recently. The intensity of the interplay between Julie & Jean, and the play of chemistry between Saffron & Peter, completely absorbs. No room, no telephone, no kitten getting into things, no knock on the door. A physical sex scene that feels like a mental rape. A servant Aristocrat and an Aristocratic servant: how far does a social role penetrate our being? The air of the film brims with violence, loathing, mutual envy and lust but...no gun, no breast. The emotional manipulations between the characters manipulate the viewer's emotions much more than any weapon or nudity could. The performance of Saffron Burrows is absolutely astounding. One moment you loathe Julie, the next you just want to comfort her. Peter Mullan works in perfect tune with Burrows and even when the characters onscreen are at odds, there is perfect harmony within the player's performances. Through the film you feel as though you can see through layers and layers of this character Julie and at the end are left numb, but awe-stuck. Thank You Mike Figgis, Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan and Maria Doyle Kennedy! (now, to pick up kitten's fun. . . )
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