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Director Liv Ullmann played the title character in a 1991 production by Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden directed by Ingmar Bergman. See more »
Little Miss Julie:
She had received a most beautiful doll as a present. Oh, what a glorious doll, so fair and delicate. She did not seem created for the sorrows of this world.
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August Strindberg wrote his play MISS JULIE in 1888 and while it is often performed today by classical repertory companies, the story is strong and deserves the very frank and stage-like production that brilliant actress Liv Ullmann brings to the screenplay adaptation and directs with a sure hand.
The story is set on Midsummer's Eve on the estate of a Count in Fermanagh, Ireland. Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain in a brilliant performance), the young woman of the title, is drawn to a senior servant, a valet named Jean (Colin Farrell also quite brilliant), who is particularly well traveled, well mannered and well read. The action takes place in the kitchen of Miss Julie's father's manor, where Jean's fiancée, a servant named Kathleen (Samantha Morton), cooks and sometimes sleeps while Jean and Miss Julie talk. On this night the relationship between Miss Julie and Jean escalates rapidly to feelings of love and is subsequently consummated. Over the course of the story Miss Julie and Jean battle until Jean convinces her that the only way to escape her predicament is to commit suicide.
While the acting and cinematography and production values are excellent, the aspect of Liv Ullmann's emphasis on Strindberg's reason for committing this work to the public as one historian phrased it well, 'Miss Julie and Jean, as vying against each other in an evolutionary "life and death" battle for a survival of the fittest. The character, Miss Julie, represents the last of an old aristocratic breed about to die out. Whereas Jean represents one who is clambering upwards, and who is more fit to thrive because he is better able to adapt in terms of the "life roles" he can take on. The play contains a variety of themes, partly because Miss Julie's actions are motivated by a range of factors and influences: her class, her desires and impulsive nature, her father, and the dynamic traumas of her family histories.'
The musical score is brilliant various combinations of violin, cello and piano with works by Schubert and Bach performed by Håvard Gimse, piano, Truls Mørk, cello and Arve Tellefsen, violin. The music is an integral part of the atmosphere. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 15
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