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Being Julia (2004)

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



(novel), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Archie Dexter
Mari Kiss ...
Mr. Gosselyn's Secretary
Ronald Markham ...
Terry Sach ...
Miss Philips
Dolly de Vries
Curtain Call Boy
Andrew Paton Story Busher ...
Male Singer
George Lang ...
Antoine the Maitre D


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

18 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adorable Julia  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Max Irons. See more »


When Julia visits Tom's flat the first time, he stands back to let her go up the stairs first. When we see them climbing the stairs, he is now in front, and again stops and lets her go in front of him to enter the flat. See more »


Florence: I think I used to know your father in Jersey, he was a doctor, wasn't he? He used to come to our house quite often.
Julia Lambert: Actually, he was a vet, he used to go to your house to deliver the bitches. Your house was full of them.
See more »


Featured in 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005) See more »


They Didn't Believe Me
Written by Jerome Kern and Herbert Reynolds
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Alison Jiear
See more »

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User Reviews

Bening? Superb. Being Julia? Not so much.
5 December 2004 | by See 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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