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Being Julia (2004)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,931 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 107 user | 92 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge.

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Title: Being Julia (2004)

Being Julia (2004) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Leigh Lawson ...
Archie Dexter
...
Mari Kiss ...
Mr. Gosselyn's Secretary
...
Ronald Markham ...
Butler
Terry Sach ...
Chauffeur
Catherine Charlton ...
Miss Philips
...
Evie
...
...
Curtain Call Boy
Andrew Paton Story Busher ...
Male Singer
George Lang ...
Antoine the Maitre D
...
Rupert
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Storyline

Tale of amorous folly and revenge set in the world of the London stage in the late 1930's. Reigning diva Julia Lambert's success and fame grow suddenly wearisome. She falls head over heels for a young American, Tom, and begins a passionate May - December affair. When she realizes that Tom is just a young social climber whose real passion is ambitious young starlet Avice Crichton, Julia begins to plot a delightful revenge. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion. Obsession. Revenge. Prepare for the performance of a lifetime.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 2004 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Conociendo a Julia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$271,408 (Australia) (18 March 2005)

Gross:

$7,739,049 (USA) (1 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Max Irons. See more »

Goofs

Tom tells Julia that Michael has given him a box for the opening of the new play. When we see Tom after Julia makes an obvious reference to him by saying, "B-E-N," he is seated not in a box but in the orchestra section, next to Julia's son and in front of Julia's male friend. See more »

Quotes

Julia Lambert: I'm tired, I'm utterly exhausted and I need holiday.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Mad about the Boy
Written by Noel Coward
(c) Chappell & Co. on behalf of Chappell & Co. Music Ltd.
Performed by Denzel Sinclaire (as Denzal Sinclaire)
See more »

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User Reviews

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
31 October 2004 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

I am not a fan of Annette Benning by any stretch of the imagination. I thought she was far too old to play the schoolgirlish ingenue in "An American President", and found her lacking in warmth and charisma as the love interest in "Open Range". I thought she was okay for what she had to do in "Dick Tracy", and honestly can't remember her performance in "American Beauty".

In "Being Julia", however, Benning's performance thoroughly does justice to her larger-than-life character. Benning plays 1930s stage actress Julia Lambert. Julia is by turns melodramatic, egocentric, overbearing and overwrought. She roars into our consciousness from her first scene to her final curtain.

Benning is surrounded by a fine cast of actors and actresses who act as perfect foils for her. Jeremy Irons, especially, is subtle and subdued as her manager husband, Michael Gosselyn. Juliet Stevenson is a sly confederate as Julia's dresser Evie. Miriam Margolyes is a hoot as theatre owner Dolly. Shaun Evans is a feast for the eyes as Tom Fennell, the young cad who breaks Julia's heart. Michael Gambon rounds out the cast as Jimmy Langton, a ghostly mentor to the very much alive and lively Julia.

Julia is not exactly what you would call an admirable human being. She is self-centered, bitchy, catty and vengeful. But, as the Italians say, "revenge is a dish best eaten cold". The film keeps us in suspense as we nervously wait for the other shoe to drop, for Julia to execute her carefully plotted revenge. When she springs her trap, we may shake our heads disapprovingly, but we cannot suppress a hearty laugh.

By its very nature, "Being Julia" is a film that will not appeal to a young demographic. You have to be a certain age to appreciate Julia's predicament of growing old and feeling that life and love have passed her by. Benning bravely allows director Istvan Szabo to film her in merciless and unforgiving closeup, to capture the lines etched in her brow, around her mouth and at her neckline. But the film leaves us with a sense of hope that, like Julia, we may all age like fine wine -- or like the beer whose creamy foam Julia relishes like her life itself: without the slightest trace of sadness or regret.


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