Being Julia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Being Julia Reviews

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August 13, 2016
One of my guilty pleasures! The final act is simply DIVALICIOUS spin on sweet revenge - All About Eve-esque! Annette Bening should won the Oscar.
½ July 15, 2016
The world of the theatre can be a magnificent one, as the stage is filled with both comedy and drama. However, life off the stage is a whole different entity. Actors and actresses must turn away from the world of make believe, and head back to the realm of reality. And sometimes, they lose what is important in life, and almost become fools of themselves. This is where the 2004 film "Being Julia" comes into play. No pun intended. Based off the novella 'Theatre' by W. Somerset Maugham, we have a film that takes a look at an actress who basically suffers a mid-life crisis, and desperately wants to improve it. And it is so very predictable. Now, there are a few good things to say about the movie, but for the most part, it feels like the curtain has already been drawn. "Being Julia" has some good intentions, but it seems like the set has already been struck.

Set in the late 1930s London, Julia Lambert (Annette Bening) is a star of the stage. Everywhere she goes, Julia has a full on passion for the theatre. However, Julia tells her husband Michael (Jeremy Irons) that she is growing tired of the theatre, and decides that she doesn't want to act anymore. Julia then sets her sights on Tom (Shaun Evans), a young American who really likes her. And so, the two form a relationship. Now, Julia must either live the life of the theatre, or accept the reality of the world on her own merits.

"Being Julia" is okay at best. There are some good things, but the bad definitely outweighs the good. For one thing, the story is both predictable and boring. It's predictable in that we, as the audience, know what's going to happen, and it just drags the pacing, which was already slow to begin with. It's boring in that the characters , outside of Julia, do not have any real reason to care. If the characters are not interesting, why should the audience be invested in them? And going back to the pacing, it just drags on for what seems like an eternity. Two thirds of the movie are extremely dull, and there is no real excitement going on. It's only until the third act when things become engaging, as well as funny. The whole movie feels tedious that it makes you wish that it were over sooner.

With that being said, the film does have a few good qualities to it. For one thing, the technical side of things make this movie stand out. The costumes fit the time period of the 1930s well, and here, it looks great as it does provide a good recreation. Speaking of which, while not filmed in London, Hungary offers up a good source for some wonderful cinematography. This, in tune with the sound and musical score, give the film a sort of classical vibe to it. And while the characters may not work, the performances definitely do stand out. Especially Bening as Julia, who truly shines here. But that does not compensate the tiresome nature of the movie.

With all being said and done, "Being Julia" is a nice production about the theatre, it does leave a bored impression for the audience.
March 22, 2016
Being Julia is a modest comedy about disillusions and glamorous revenge that rises on Annette Bening's brilliant portrayal of a middle aged diva.
½ December 31, 2015
Actually, I did not like the movie... But I was impressed by the acting that Bening has... Why she lose to Hilary Swank?
½ November 5, 2015
i always thought Bening's a good actor but this elevates her to great. Complex portrayal, difficult to watch sometimes, the way superb acting can be for its earnestness and relatedly the watchers' immediate recognition of their own vulnerabilities and fears...
½ July 29, 2015
While there are good performances abound Bening is the driving force behind this entertaining drama.
July 2, 2015
Being Julia

On cable
Rating: R 104 minutes Dramedy

Director: István Szabó
Writer: Ronald Harwood
Starring: Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, Shaun Evans, Bruce Greenwood and Michael Gambon

It's London in 1938 and cinemas are taking over. Jimmie Langton (Michael Gambon who worked in film since 1965, including the Harry Potter series) is Julia's (Oscar-nominee and Golden Globe winner for this film) mentor. He whispers advice from the grave.

His husband/manager is Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons, with multiple awards including a Oscar for Reversal of Fortune). Julie pines for Lord Charles (Bruce Greenwood, known for two Star Trek movies and Mad Men (TV), and falls a younger American (Shaun Evans, known for his work on television series and mini's).

Julia is big enough of a star that she improvises her lines but she is getting older. And bored of this play - which receives rave reviews. Gossip about her and her young lover is all over London. But her husband doesn't care - playing around with the up and coming actress in the husband and Julia's new play. (Think Bette Davis in "All About Eve".)

The flaws: the over-acting (Bening), the Lord could have written all together. The twist of the son's arrival wasn't much of a twist. The end of the movie went too long.

István Szabó is a Hungarian filmmaker with 36 credits, including films and shorts. He was nominated for a BAFTA for Oberest Redl (1986) and won a Golden Globe for Sunshine (1999).

Based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel "Theatre".

Ronald Harwood's credits for screenplays include, "The Pianist", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," and "Quartet". He's won an Oscar for "The Pianist" and been nominated for three more. He also received two nominations for Golden Globes, four nominations for the BAFTAS, and won for Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007)

Producers:
Robert Lantos has produced more than 70 television shows and films. He was nominated for a BAFTA (2008) and has won numerous Genie Awards (Canada).
Marion Pilowsky is known for writing, directing, and producing shorts. She went on to produce "Little Fish" with Cate Blanchett.
½ February 17, 2015
I have to admit that the book is so much better than the movie. Not only I get the right sense and explanation of why Julia, and Michael, is like this and that. But everything Somerset Maugham wrote was explicit and moving. But apart from that, Annette Bening is just beyond awesome. She depicted Julia precisely and you just couldn't resent her albeit the things she's done. I LOVE every moment Julia shares with Roger, both in the movie and the book.
November 17, 2014
Extraordinary and beautiful Annette Bening's performance. Kind of TV esthetics, but captivating essay about actor's solitude in his art and life.
November 16, 2014
Well directed and with an excellent performance from Annette Bening, "Being Julia" is a lovable comedy with just enough ferocity.
May 14, 2014
pisi did like this filmer
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2014
Annette Bening is excellent, but I couldn't really invest in the movie overall.
½ March 7, 2014
Other than Benning's wonderful performance and the lavishing costumes, it's nothing very special
½ February 5, 2014
A clichéd movie saved by Annette Bening as the powerhouse.
January 21, 2014
Being Julia is the 20th movie starring Annette Bening I watched on DVD and thus far I loved every one of them, but this one absolutely blew my mind! Six stars.
January 8, 2014
What a waste of excellent performers such as Jeremy Iron and Annette Bening on mean-spirited comedy farce. The trifling core of the story is a bit of romp and subsequent ego bruising of an aging actress, who then exercised her talent on stage to humiliate an eager beaver young actress and her lover (who had a fling with the Bening actress).

All these excellent performance both subtle and comical, but wasted on such a spineless and silly story.
½ January 5, 2014
Being Julia is an excellent film. It is about stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge during the 1930s in London. Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Istvan Szabo did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and humor. Being Julia is a must see.
November 16, 2013
Tons of words have rightly recognized Bening's performance(s) but one should also recognize how good were the many other top-gun performers, especially Irons & Punch (one could also add Gambon) - as well as the films look, its costumes, locations, score and era.. without this cast (and this look) Szabo's film would hardly be as riveting - may even have been forgettable despite it's source material.. getting back to the acting there is plenty of over-acting and not only in the plays - of course this is the theater and, more so, the theater of the 30's...
October 16, 2013
Funny, witty and a take-no-nonesense film. The character of Julia Lambert makes one feel just as conflicted as she does, with her situation. It was a pleasant surprise to see that her character does not play into the defeated woman, but stands up and takes control.
August 11, 2013
This has one of the best twists in movie history and why she didn't beat Hillary Swank for the Oscar is still ridiculous in my mind.
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