Being Julia


Being Julia (2004)


Critic Consensus: Annette Bening delivers a captivating performance in Being Julia, a sophisticated comedy that follows a 1930s stage diva who experiences an identity crisis at age 40.


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Movie Info

In London in 1938, actress Julia Lambert is at her peak, physically and professionally, but her successful theatrical career and her marriage to handsome impresario Michael Gosselyn have become stale and unfulfilling. She longs for novelty, excitement, sparks. Enter Tom Fennell. A younger man who claims to be Julia's greatest fan. Finding his ardor irresistible, she decides that romance is the best antidote to a mid-life crisis and embarks on a passionate affair. Life becomes more daring and exciting, until Julia's young lover callously tries to relegate her to a supporting role. But on opening night, Julia reveals that she is a more formidable actress than anyone ever imagined.

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Annette Bening
as Julia Lambert
Jeremy Irons
as Michael Gosselyn
Michael Gambon
as Jimmy Langton
Bruce Greenwood
as Lord Charles
Miriam Margolyes
as Dolly de Vries
Shaun Evans
as Tom Fennel
Sheila McCarthy
as Grace Dexter
Lucy Punch
as Avice Crichton
Maury Chaykin
as Walter Gibbs
Leigh Lawson
as Archie Dexter
Rosemary Harris
as Julia's Mother
Rita Tushingham
as Aunt Carrie
Max Irons
as Curtain Call Boy
Tom Sturridge
as Roger Gosselyn
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Critic Reviews for Being Julia

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (37)

It is Bening that's worth the price of admission. She makes even the corniest line ring true.

Nov 19, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

I enjoyed watching Ms. Bening in close to top form, and I think you will, too.

Nov 18, 2004 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Bening brings such vitality to the role that she sweeps aside all the quibbles, and you have to sit back and enjoy what is a masterly performance by a great actor playing a great actor.

Nov 18, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5

This is, of course, the sort of role about which actresses dream, and it is Annette Bening who brings Julia to raging, mischievous, unforgettable life.

Nov 12, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A pretty good picture wrapped around a great, Oscar-contender performance.

Nov 11, 2004 | Rating: B

Being Julia isn't perfect; but Bening is, and that makes the film sing.

Nov 5, 2004 | Rating: B
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Being Julia


Annette Bening is excellent, but I couldn't really invest in the movie overall.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Pleasant evening watching this DVD. Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons are splendid. The costumes are wonderful. The weak link--and it's a pretty big crack because the whole story revolves around it--is that the story starts out with Julia saying she wants something new and different and then proceeds to revert to her younger self which is old hat. What she really wanted was to stop growing old. Then, in the end she discovers she doesn't mind being alone and growing old because she has other qualities. I guess the movie accomplished what it set out to do, but perhaps the whole theme is too nuanced for a movie. I definitely think the chemistry between Julia and her young paramour was ridiculously unbelievable.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

This was okay. Not much of a story to it really, though. Wouldn't want to watch it again.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Actually, I did not like the movie... But I was impressed by the acting that Bening has... Why she lose to Hilary Swank?

Sanjaya  丘耀文
Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

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