• R, 1 hr. 43 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    István Szabó
    In Theaters:
    Oct 15, 2004 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 22, 2005
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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Being Julia Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I liked the movie in its own way, while it was cheerfully chugging along, but the ending let me down.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 29, 2004
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Being Julia is one of the most uneven affairs I have watched in a theater this year. It's like two movies that have been inelegantly grafted together.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 14, 2004
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

Benning ... brings this constantly disguised vixen to ferocious, flamboyant life.

Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Original Score: C

May 3, 2005
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A minor affair.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 9, 2004
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews

If A Room with a View looked inside the repressed passions of its characters, Being Julia seems content to just put a frame around them and call it a day.

Full Review Source: Mixed Reviews | Original Score: C

September 23, 2004
Dan Lybarger

Watching Being Julia is like seeing a racehorse with an impeccable bloodline trudging across the finish line with the rest of the pack instead of out in front of it

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 3/5

February 23, 2005
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Annette Bening can act but she works too hard to prove it in Being Julia.

| Original Score: 2/4

October 12, 2004
John Anderson
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There isn't much about István Szabó's direction that he can brag about, and Ronald Harwood's script retains too much of Maugham's plot and not enough of his coherence.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2/4

October 14, 2004
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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Movies don't get much more inoffensively middlebrow than Being Julia.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/5

October 15, 2004
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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The play is supposed to serve as both the centerpiece and the climax of the film, which may explain why it wobbles until the end.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

October 21, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does nothing to restore Szabo's good name, but it does a good deal to enhance our appreciation of Bening.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

November 5, 2004
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Though Being Julia is an undeniably lush and expensive-looking production, the film never manages to step beyond the realm of over-the-top campiness.

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 2/4

September 9, 2004
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

While much of Being Julia's appeal stems from no one being as fabulous as [Julia] is, the lack of a worthy sparring partner diminishes the fun.

Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema | Original Score: C

April 13, 2005
Tony Medley

(T)he relationship (between Julia and Tom) is beyond belief...(T)he film is terminally slow. It would take less time to read Maugham's novella than to watch this film

Full Review Source: tonymedley.com | Original Score: 5/10

September 18, 2004
Matt Kelemen
Las Vegas CityLife

While I'm glad that Annette Bening gets a juicy role in István Szabó's Being Julia, I don't find her character sympathetic or charismatic whatsoever.

Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

November 18, 2004
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everything is in place for a tour de force film. Yet the end result is so lackluster and pedestrian, a more fitting title is Being and Nothingness.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

October 15, 2004
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal

Being Julia is strangely devoid of the one thing every great film needs: a hook.

| Original Score: 2/4

December 16, 2004
Jeffrey Chen
Window to the Movies

Smeared by a very childish ending ... But there is that Bening performance to savor.

Full Review Source: Window to the Movies | Original Score: 6/10

January 9, 2005
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Thanks to Bening, we're already rooting for Julia to prevail in all her glorious bitchiness. Why should we have to like her, too?

Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI) | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 18, 2004
Jimmy O
Film Snobs

The film desires to be a biting statement on the stage and real drama. It's misguided script fails to do either.

Full Review Source: Film Snobs | Original Score: 2/5

February 5, 2005
February 27, 2009
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
Leonard Maltin
February 26, 2011
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no question that the source material and the screenwriter make for a natural fit.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 15, 2004
David Ansen
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November 1, 2007

Boston Phoenix
October 23, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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November 5, 2004

Deseret News, Salt Lake City
November 20, 2004

Premiere Magazine
December 3, 2004

Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic
December 12, 2004

Sydney Morning Herald
May 13, 2005

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
June 24, 2006
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