Being Julia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Being Julia Reviews

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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Ebert & Roeper
December 12, 2004
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 19, 2004
It is Bening that's worth the price of admission. She makes even the corniest line ring true.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 18, 2004
I enjoyed watching Ms. Bening in close to top form, and I think you will, too.
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
November 18, 2004
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
November 12, 2004
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 11, 2004
A pretty good picture wrapped around a great, Oscar-contender performance.
| Original Score: B
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 5, 2004
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 5, 2004
Being Julia isn't perfect; but Bening is, and that makes the film sing.
| Original Score: B
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 5, 2004
Does nothing to restore Szabo's good name, but it does a good deal to enhance our appreciation of Bening.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 1, 2004
Just because it's meringue does not mean that there are not genuine pleasures to be found in this light comedy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
October 29, 2004
An intelligently witty comedy that boasts the sort of performance from Annette Bening that had wags predicting an Academy Award nomination months ago.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 29, 2004
I liked the movie in its own way, while it was cheerfully chugging along, but the ending let me down.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 29, 2004
Slender but amusing adaptation of a W. Somerset Maugham novel.
| Original Score: B
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
October 29, 2004
May lack originality but makes up for it in sheer bravado and really nice clothes.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
October 29, 2004
Bening makes the movie into something finer still. She digs into a pagoda-size heap of roles and roles-within-roles and pulls them all out, one by one, deftly.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
October 28, 2004
The 1930s touches, including a selection of background music, are beguiling.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 28, 2004
Boasting a bewitching performance by Annette Bening as a 1930s theater queen who rules the West End as Victoria did her empire, Being Julia is a feather-light diversion about a creature who acts her life and lives her roles.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 28, 2004
Bening shines, and the film shines too.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 23, 2004
Bening slips into this role naturally and wholly.
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
October 22, 2004
There are several notable actors in it, most of them quite good, but it's the glorious Annette Bening who hoists this flawed production on her mink-wrapped shoulders and makes it work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 22, 2004
There's an art to making this kind of movie -- and Szabó has assembled all the right ingredients and combined them with a delicate but masterful touch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 22, 2004
This is Bening's field day, and she fends off all comers with a performance that's astonishing for both its happy invention and technical overkill.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
October 21, 2004
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
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 19, 2004
Playing a West End stage queen in the otherwise musty Being Julia, Bening has a high time strutting her good/bad stuff.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
October 15, 2004
Movies don't get much more inoffensively middlebrow than Being Julia.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 15, 2004
There's no question that the source material and the screenwriter make for a natural fit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
October 15, 2004
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.
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
October 15, 2004
Even with the whimsically understated Irons as the oblivious husband and that lion Michael Gambon as the ghost of Julia's acting teacher, director István Szabó's movie leaves no impression.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
October 15, 2004
[Bening] pulls out all the stops playing a limelight-loving stage diva in 1930s London, and her vivacious performance should guarantee her a spot on Oscar's list of Best Actress nominees.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 14, 2004
Annette Bening gets the role of a lifetime in Being Julia, and she runs off with the movie.
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
October 14, 2004
The filmmakers have brought such breadth and depth to the material.
| Original Score: 4/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 14, 2004
Playing a star of the prewar London theater uneasily stepping into middle age, Annette Bening manages a hectic plot with glamour and aplomb.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kim Morgan
L.A. Weekly
October 14, 2004
For all Bening's high emoting and her trademark giggle, here overused to the point of annoyance, for most of its length Being Julia offers little insight into a woman whose life is ruled by theatrics.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 14, 2004
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
October 14, 2004
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.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 13, 2004
It has enough surprises to keep you guessing, and for Annette Bening it's the liveliest of comebacks.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 12, 2004
Annette Bening can act but she works too hard to prove it in Being Julia.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Leslie Camhi
Village Voice
October 12, 2004
Bening's comic gifts make the most of Ronald Harwood's witty screenplay.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 11, 2004
A delightful though wafer-thin starring vehicle for one of our finest actresses, Annette Bening.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 9, 2004
A minor affair.