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Julia is a drunk. She loses her job in real estate and at an A.A. meeting meets a neighbor, Elena, an addled Mexican woman who talks about having lots of money and a plan to kidnap her own son from the boy's grandfather, a wealthy businessman. Elena wants Julia's help. Julia says yes with her own plan to do this alone. Following Elena's plan, Julia manages to grab the boy, Tom, who's about 10. Now what? She asks for a ransom. Tom's grandfather and his money are connected directly to Mexican drug trafficking, so Julia is up against long odds. Will anyone make it out alive? Written by
The motel scenes in which Julia holds Tom captive that are supposed to be set in California have non-American electrical outlets, revealing the scenes' Mexican location. See more »
You know, the people here, they're really nice to each other. You can feel safe here. And we can help you. I know you. You live right across from me, we're neighbors.
Well, I'm not really down with the good neighbor shit.
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Eric Zonca directed the sublime 'The Dream Life of Angels', a beautiful story of female friendship and existential despair. 'Julia', his first film for 9 years, is equally powerful, but much less charming. Tilda Swinton is great as Julia, but her character is absolutely unlikeable; the plot, meanwhile, though harrowing, in places strains credibility, especially in its portrait of Mexico as a literal hell on earth. Yet Zonca's talent is also on display, and the story commands your attention in spite of its unpleasantness. The ending is ambiguous, potentially interpretable as redemptive, but not clearly so. I'm not sure this is a great film; I am sure I want to see more from this director.
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