1938. Julia Lambert and Michael Gosselyn are the royal couple of the London theater scene, Julia an actress and Michael a former actor who took over running the theater and its troupe upon the passing of their mentor, Jimmie Langton. Jimmie is still constantly with Julia in spirit as she navigates through life. Besides their work, Julia and Michael lead largely separate lives, they long ago having stopped a sexual relationship. Julia of late has been feeling disenchanted with her life, she not wanting to admit it's because she is approaching middle age. Her disenchantment manifests itself in wanting Michael to close their current production early so that she can recharge her juices, something he is reluctant to do if only for not wanting to let the theater sit empty. What Julia ends up doing instead is embarking on an affair with Tom Fennel, an adoring young American who is young enough to be her son. As Julia and Tom's relationship progresses, the more she falls in love with him and ... Written by
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Your only reality is the theater. Anything else, what civilians call the real world, is nothing but fantasy and I bloody well won't let you forget it.
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Being Julia is a very entertaining picture aimed at the over 40 demographics, which is nice for a change since most of the films these days are aimed at the 25 and younger crowd. The story is great. I haven't read the book, so I don't know if the credit goes to the screenwriter or the author. Annette Bening's performance carries the film.
The bad news is, it could have been better. My first complaint is the photography has a yellow/green cast to it, which makes the film visually dull. This is a shame since Annette Bening is so radiant. My second complaint is the directing is competent but not much more. It's pretty much what you would expect from a made for TV film but not an art house film. A visionary director could have made this film great rather than merely good. My third complaint is that it is similar to All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, and 20th Century; but it is not at the same level of those classics, due to the reasons given above.
This is a film about the theater and in my favorite scene her son tells her that she is always acting. Some people might be turned off by the style of the dialog, but it fits the context of the film. One of the devices of the film is that the ghost of her acting mentor is always watching over her like a guardian angel. The ending of the film couldn't have been better, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
Overall, this is currently one of the top 3 films in the theater and if you are lucky enough to have it playing in your area, you should see it. 8/10
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