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In an eerily familiar city, a calendar reform has dispensed with the past and the future, leaving citizens faceless, without memory or anticipation. Unimaginable happiness abounds - until a woman recovers her face...
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
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!
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