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113 user 93 critic

Being Julia (2004)

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

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

W. Somerset Maugham (novel), Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Gambon ... Jimmie Langton
Annette Bening ... Julia Lambert
Leigh Lawson ... Archie Dexter
Shaun Evans ... Tom Fennel
Mari Kiss Mari Kiss ... Mr. Gosselyn's Secretary
Jeremy Irons ... Michael Gosselyn
Ronald Markham Ronald Markham ... Butler
Terry Sach Terry Sach ... Chauffeur
Catherine Charlton ... Miss Philips
Juliet Stevenson ... Evie
Miriam Margolyes ... Dolly de Vries
Max Irons ... Curtain Call Boy
Andrew Paton Story Busher Andrew Paton Story Busher ... Male Singer
George Lang George Lang ... Antoine the Maitre D
Michael Culkin ... Rupert
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Storyline

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 Huggo

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA | Hungary | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adorable Julia See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$101,126, 17 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,739,049, 3 April 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miranda Richardson was originally attached to play Julia Lambert. See more »

Goofs

Michael hands Julia a beer bottle that he opened by twisting off the cap; this innovation wasn't introduced until the mid-1960s. See more »

Quotes

Jimmie Langton: 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.
Julia Lambert: Rubbish.
See more »

Connections

References Wee Willie Winkie (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Mad about the Boy
Written by Noël Coward
(c) Chappell & Co. on behalf of Chappell & Co. Music Ltd.
Performed by Denzel Sinclaire (as Denzal Sinclaire)
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User Reviews

 
Bening? Superb. Being Julia? Not so much.
5 December 2004 | by ariesjowSee all my reviews

Once again, Annette Bening is deep in the hunt for a Best Actress Oscar and once again she may fall short. Bening is front and center for the entirety of the film - and it's a big show-stopping diva actress performance that will conjure up comparison to the likes of Bette Davis (All About Eve), Diane Weist (Bullets Over Broadway), and Gloria Swanson (Sunset Blvd.). Bening's performance flat-out dominates the film and she's constantly emoting. But, save for perhaps the grand last stage scene, Bening's best moments are her quieter ones.

As stellar as Annette is, she can not salvage Being Julia in total. While there are a few great quips here and there, this is not one of Ron Harwood's better adaptations. The screenplay seemed to lack cohesion at times which made this short film drag and weakened the impact of the ending. The rest of the cast ranged from great (Irons, Gambon) to unfortunate victims of the script (Greenwood).

See this film if for nothing more than Bening. If she sweeps you up, the you may be able to forgive the weaker moments of Being Julia. Perhaps Academy Award voters will forgive them too and send Mrs. Beatty home with a little golden man in February.


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