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|Index||39 reviews in total|
I could not like this film more. Yes, it's messy. Yes, it's extreme... but it is precisely for these reasons that I adore it. In this age of one slick, bland, impeccably crafted and neutered blockbuster suppository after the other and at a time when so-called independent films are so often just show reels for wanna-be future suppository crafters, this is a breath of pure, animalistic, delightfully anarchic, fresh air. It is truly cinematic, ambitious, original and brilliant. The dialogue is a bit weak in places and it feels like it was edited in a rush, but those are my only complaints. Swintons performance is full of fantasy and compassion and anyone who has ever spent time around hard-core drinkers will know that it is 100% realistic. The entire experience of watching this film is like a binge weekend for the viewer: All threads unravel, reason becomes skewed and when sobriety finally kicks in, you are left with nothing. I was swept along in a complete state of reverie and found myself breathless and wishing it could go on longer when it ended. The colourful mix of characters and landscapes are beautifully framed and lit. The whole thing is like a bizarre European fairytale of what America is like. Oscars for best Actress and cinematography please!
One weekend, some weeks back I went to the movies with friends intending to watch 'Into the Wild'. But as things go in groups, somebody had already seen it and before I knew it plans were laid to watch a film about a girl who got gets pregnant I protested (I hadn't even read the review on IMDb!!!) but I ended up watching it anyway the result being 'Juno' just blew me away.. the story, the acting, the dialogs and of course the soundtrack!
Once again I was to go to the cinemas this time I had no real choices - the other options were Jumper, 10000BC and Julia (I'd seen the other good flicks already). I knew from 'trusted sources' that Jumper sucked and 10000 BC didn't really meet our high standards ;) So it came down to Julia - I didn't know what to expect of this film.. THERE WAS NO REVIEW ON IMDb!!! BUT I got brave - maybe I'd learned a lesson after having ventured into the unknown with Juno or maybe it was the 50% discount at the movies this weekend.. I watched Julia!
When I came out of the cinema I swore to myself that this would be my first movie review on IMDb not so much for the sake of writing a review but for the fact that I'd hate to let a good film go un-noticed! And Julia is a good film, it's a very good film for it kept me glued to the screen once I got 'into' the film which happened about 20 minutes into the movie..
Tilda Swinton played an award-winner of a role as the ever-cursing Julia Harris, who makes it a habit of waking up, unaware of where she's been sleeping. You know, the ease with which she plays an alcoholic totally convinced me that she did drink all that vodka during the making of the film. And unlike her other films, the camera does not show her in that special way that highlights her lovely eyes supported by those high, rounded cheekbones. But you will still fall in love with her and you will also cut down on the alcohol and cigarettes and give up any ideas of easy ransom-money.
From the kidnapper to the kid-napped Tom played by the talented Aidan Gould starts off as a kid who is made to nap all the time, more to make it easy for Julia to manage him than to keep him from escaping. But after he has been shoved around a bit, Julia starts to learn how to handle the kid and keeps him awake a lot more, and you start to see some interaction between the two.
Julia treats Tom as a mature individual and their conversations show that the kid does have some mature ideas in his head, probably only put there by his millionaire grandfather who is also his sole guardian - but he is quite smart for his age. He also starts to display a range of emotions, more than just fear or anger. You have to see the film to realize how delicate these are. My favorite though, was the look on his face when he wakes up next to a girl one morning I wont tell you where or with whom or how, as that would be a 'spoiler' literally!
Well, these are the two main characters that really 'make' this film and around them you will find others playing short but not insignificant roles. I could go on to give you my observations of the characters and my guesses on their lifestyles and make psycho-social analyses. But those are the kind of reviews which restricted my imagination as I watched other films they didn't help me so I figure it won't be good for you either my fellow movie-lover-speculator
To sum up, the film has a simple plot that unfolds with time, there aren't any super special effects, no fancy camera-work and despite all that, it still appeals to me like many other simple films have. Normally I'd vote for a 7 on 10 for it being so smooth, but I left the cinema thinking about other probable outcomes, as I wasn't too happy about the way it ended It was certainly possible, but I still wished it hadn't happened but then I wonder how else would I have made the end to this film?? For having created this conflict in me, I'd like to give this film an 8 on 10.
And for the doubtful ones out there, reading this review to make up your minds I dedicate this, my first IMDb review to you go for it, you won't regret it!
JULIA is one of those films that goes beyond being a story and
production worth the viewers' attention: this is one of those
experiences in observing the art of acting at its peak. Tilda Swinton
who continues to explore roles that challenge her and her audience,
roles that few other actresses would considering making let alone
making, and in JULIA she covers a range of emotions and mutations of a
character that simply leave the audience in complete awe of her talent.
She is extraordinary!
Julia is a bright but flawed person. She is an alcoholic who spends her nights drinking herself into oblivion only to wake up the next morning not recognizing her bed partner or the surroundings of her comatosed night of stupor. Swinton makes us understand this character's 'way with men' in her grossly revealing clothes and her flirtations backed by a mouth of filth. Julia loses her job over her drunken tardiness and has ruined a 'relationship' with ex-alcoholic Mitch (Saul Rubinek) and finally goes to an AA meeting where she meets Elena (Kate Del Castillo), a pathetic recovering alcoholic whose only goal in life is to retrieve her son Tom (Aidan Gould) from his wealthy disapproving grandfather. Julia is so desperate for money that she buys into a bizarre 'kidnapping' of Tom for Elena, a decision that triggers all of the rest of the film's journey through crime and sleaze as Julia fails at every effort to 'play the game' of criminal to make a fortune. Traveling from Los Angeles through the desert to Mexico, along the way Julia encounters 'co-facilitators' in her new life of crime - portrayed by such fine actors as Bruno Bichir (Demian Bichir's brother), a new and fine young actor Horacio Garcia Rojas, and Eugene Byrd to name only a few of the standout performances. Though a bit overlong at 2 1/2 hours, the script by Michael Collins and Camille Natta is spot on perfect and the direction by Erick Zonca makes the long film always richly colored and fascinating in attention to detail.
But the real reason to watch this film in the astonishing, multifaceted performance by Tilda Swinton, surely one of the finest actresses before us today. Her Julia creates a new level of acting standard- even for Swinton!
I have been an admirer of Tilda Swinton,since I first saw her in some of Derek Jarman's films,and moving on to acting in some mighty toothsome film fare after Jarman's untimely death due to complications from AIDS. Not only can she take on some roles in what could be considered "difficult" films,but she can fake an American accent quite well. Erick Zonka ('The Dreamlife Of Angels',The Little Thief') directs & co writes the screenplay (with Aude Py)about a self destructive 40 something,full blown alcoholic party girl,named Julia who's party girl days should have been behind her years ago. When she is ordered to attend an AA meeting by one of her best friends (played by veteran Canadian actor,Saul Rubinek), she meets up with a psychologically disturbed woman named Elena (played to the max by Kate Del Castillo),who wants Julia to kidnap her eight year old son from her Grandfather. Julia,with nothing to lose (and equally nothing to gain)is at first reluctant to go along with this scheme,but eventually goes along for the ride. What transpires is a botched kidnapping that goes from bad to worse to truly unbearable. Toss in an unintended trip to Mexico,and watch the fire get turned up to full 10. Comparisons to John Cassavete's film, 'Gloria' will be noted. Rated 'R'by the MPAA,this film contains pervasive raunchy language (both in English & Spanish),adult content & nudity & graphic,bloody violence. Leave the kiddies home
A hard edged tale of a woman pushed by her own desperation into crimes over her head. Tilda Swinton lets it rip here, in a vivid, color, cinema-verite style that depends as much on making you uneasy as anything. The characters are so believable, and the sequence of events stumbles along with such perfect inelegance (to say the least), you hate to see it all because what happens is pretty awful.
The ground covered is a believable version of what an ordinary person with seemingly good moral structure is driven to by circumstance. In this case, it's about being pushed by her own sorry life to do something that breaks out of it. But it also begins as a curious compassion, a genuine skepticism overwhelmed by the possibilities. By thinking, why not? And of course, why not then becomes all too clear. It's this sense that it could by a stretch happen to you or me (hopefully not, but in theory) that gives the movie its chilling penetration.
And the ending, as sensational as it gets, is a logical outcome of where we began, and there is a kind of victory, but it's no Hollywood ending, and that's a huge relief. Rather, it's as if you went along with a woman for the adventure of her life and it's the real thing, nothing held back, including disbelief, fear, violence, and sometimes, thankfully, a glimmer of hope. Very very well made--acting, writing, filming--but not everyone's cup of tea because it is so unsettling.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL
JULIA = A living-in-denial, acid-tongued, fortyish and usually sporting that "oh so disheveled buy me a few drinks and I'll go home with you but won't remember or care in the morning, total-lush" look; with serious stability/maturity issues. That, ladies and gentlemen, pretty much sums it up! Swinton carries the movie on her "more often than not slipping out of her dress" shoulders!
JULIA will continue to ricochet around your brain, tumultuously, long after viewing. KUDOS to Ms. Swinton! After her Oscar winning role as the anal-retentive executive you love to hate in Michael Clayton, she seemed like a truly excellent actor. With this ground-breaking, Oscar-caliber performance, there can be no doubt her acting skills are nothing short of legendary! The only actor who could hold her own on camera w/Swinton was Kate del Castillo(Under the Same Moon), who turns in a brief, but incredibly intense performance as the disturbed biological mother.
Remember how the Supreme Court used to define pornography? "Totally and utterly devoid of any redeeming social value"- What's mystical about Ms. Swinton's performance is that despite portraying a detestable and neurotically unpredictable adult, she manages to plant a seed of expectation/compassion in the viewer's mind. Throughout, there is a flicker of hope that, somehow, someway, things will manage to right themselves.
**** Possible Very Minor SPOILER Ahead ****
JULIA certainly pulls the proverbial rug out from under your feet on more than one occasion. My hands are tied when it comes to discussing the final minutes of the film. But you absolutely mustn't give up on JULIA beforehand. Please, be patient! Everything hinges on that final scene! Soon afterward, upon reflection, the real implications will remind you that things aren't always as they seem! Immediately after JULIA-6* was my rating. After my cerebral dust has settled, JULIA rates a rock-solid 8*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An outstanding film, Julia is full of improbable plot twists, failures,
missteps, and desperation.
Tilda Swinton stars as a woman at the end of her rope and probably, at the end of her life. Her despair and desperation in the throes of alcoholism are so real and so painful to watch. Julia is in pain from which she'll never recover, pain she's stopped trying to recover from because it's just too hard. Then Julia gets an offer she can't refuse. A sane, rational person would recognize the insanity and illogic from the beginning, but Julia is not sane or rational. And so the journey begins.
Fantastic acting by the entire cast, and Tilda Swinton shines above them all. Gritty and realistic sets that reflect the characters in them to perfection. Relentless plot twists and turns that leave you wondering when Julia will take that final step of desperation. A slow blossoming of tenderness in a swamp of despair, an unexpected scene of real love where you thought love could never be, and then, you're thrown off the train at last.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is about an alcoholic woman's transformation during a wild
road trip. While I found the first 20 minutes hard to get through, and
almost stopped watching, I found the remainder of the movie
mesmerizing. Tilda Swinton is beyond amazing. You can't take your eyes
off her. And you can't wait to see what will happen next as she digs
herself deeper and deeper into a mess.
Having said all that, there were major gaps in the story line. For instance, she was out of money, which is why she tried to pull off this stunt, so where did she get all the money she used on the trip? Did I miss something? With Thelma and Louise, they robbed the convenience store to get money. Julia needed to do something like that to explain her funds.
The beginning was especially awkward as a nutty woman from an AA meeting approached Julia with a scheme to kidnap the woman's son from a guardian and get ransom. That whole proposal happened too quickly and was jarring. Then, what happened to that woman during the story? We never found out.
I'm surprised to find so many things wrong with the story line and yet still give his movie a high rating. Swinton is that good. If you can get through the first bit, and suspend disbelief a little more than normal regarding plot, watching this woman's journey from a boozy barfly into a compassionate being is well worth the trip.
"JULIA" is a rare example of a movie created IN English by a French director - and Erick Zonca is truly one of the finest directors around these days. He's only made 6 films and all of them have won or been nominated for major awards. Sadly overlooked by American audiences, "JULIA" is a beautifully crafted mystery-suspense drama that serves as a wonderful setting for the amazing Tilda Swinton to present one of the most resonant motion picture performances of recent years. It's an in-depth "lead" and, at the same time, "character" role and her performance is truly unforgettable. As we have come to expect from Mr. Zonca, this is a beautifully crafted yet spontaneous work. It is a living, breathing, thoughtful film experience that will stay with you for a long time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tilda Swinton has to be one of the most interesting actresses of her
generation. When we first meet her here as Julia she is a cynical,
down-and-out alcoholic whose life consists of getting drunk in a bar in
the evenings and then sleeping with whomever she can attract for the
night. But Julia realizes that her life is going nowhere and her desire
for money leads her to misadventures, to understate the matter. We
think that this is going to be a tale of redemption, and it does touch
on how the relationship that develops between kidnapper and kidnapped
changes Julia, but by the end, after murders, lies, kidnappings,
double-crossings, and more drinking, it is hard to admire Julia too
much when she displays a bit of compassion for the boy she in fact
Swinton did not mail this one in--she goes at the role giving 100%. I just wish she had chosen to apply her considerable talent to material with a stronger message than, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" But, with such a blistering performance she creates a memorable character and I could only stand back in appreciation.
The supporting cast is good, including the child actor Aiden Gould. The pacing kept my interest to the point where I didn't think about the major plot holes until after the movie was over.
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