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Being Julia
Being Julia
Actors: Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Maury Chaykin, Jeremy Irons, Leigh Lawson
Director: István Szabó
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2005     1hr 44min

A famous actress in 1930's London becomes bored and tries to generate excitement in her life by taking a much younger lover.

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Movie Details

Actors: Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Maury Chaykin, Jeremy Irons, Leigh Lawson
Director: István Szabó
Creators: Julia Rosenberg, Kevan Van Thompson, Marion Pilowsky, Mark Milln, Mark Musselman, Ronald Harwood, W. Somerset Maugham
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 34
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 5/2/2008...
Not all that great -- I never finished watching it.
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lorraine S. (rainey) from WOODLAND HLS, CA
Reviewed on 11/28/2007...
Annette Bening is incandescent in this witty period comedy about an actress who attacks her personal life with the same vengeance with which she attacks a role. Her character, Julia Lambert is ravenous for every bit of limelight there is and uses cunning and wit to remain the center of everyone's attention.

There isn't a single performance that isn't top rate from Jeremy Irons as her husband to Bruce Greenwood as her escort/confidant to Juliet Stevenson as her personal maid to Shaun Evans as the wide-eyed but equally devious suitor.

Any woman who has come to appreciate the wisdom of the old saying "age and wisdom will defeat youth and beauty every time" will find the ending nothing short of delicious!
8 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" " Don't take it Serious; i
Andrea Bowhill | England | 06/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Set in London 1938, the film focuses on a highly successful and extremely popular theatre actress Julia Lambert (Annette Bening). Married with one son, a woman whose got it all, but, there's still a wanting, a yearning, something is missing. Julia's fast approaching middle age, but the fire seems to have gone out, lacking in passion for her talent, tedious of late and stuck on auto drive. Julia's gradual disillusionment has made her feel tired of it all, lost, something has to give. Julia prompts her husband, stage director Michael Gosselyn, (Jeremy Irons) and the financial backer, Dolly de Vries, (Miriam Margolyes) to close her current production in order to take time out and travel aboard, find her perspective, but they persuade Julia to at least take the production to the end of the summer.

Her Husband Michael then Introduces Julia to a young Tom Fennel, (Shaun Evans) an american whose set about enterprising himself in London and has great taxation ideas. Tom can't believe his luck, meeting the famous Julia Lambert, his quick to confess to being a hugh admirer of Julia's work. Julia is also quick to fill a void in her life, her now twenty year marriage has gone passionless and clearly become just quiet something else. So Julia embarks on a passionate affair with Tom but soon falls madly in love with him, she also supports him, so that he too can enjoy her glamorous life style. The relationship revives her vibrant sparkle, while everyone else notices the personality change for the better, what about her control in other areas?

Always watching over Julia is her ghostly mentor, Jimmie Langton, (Michael Gambon) who was a theatrical manager of a provincial theatre. Jimmie gave Julia her start and made her a big star, a brilliant actress, although his long passed away Jimmie remains a fragment of her imagination, when Julia needs help in moments of emotional thoughts, Jimmies' still her driving force. Meanwhile back in the real world, her personal maid, dresser and confident Evie (Juliet Stevenson) keeps her grounded.

But are things about to fall apart! Clearly Tom's social climbing and has now met ambitious young aspiring actress Avice Crichton, (Lucy Punch). Avice, has hatched plans and has her own callous ideas to make higher ground by starring in Julia's next play. Julia's, best friend Lord Charles (Bruce Greenwood) steps in to support Julia's emotional turmoil, but only as a friend! Julia sets about her plans for revenge, contempt for all involved in any betrayal, opening night performance of her new play, let the farce begin.

"The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned"
"So how can you lose what you've never owned"?
"Life is just a bowl of cherries",
"So live and laugh at it all".

There are so many things I loved about this film, 1930's England, theatre life, the music, the joy and although this is set in the 30's the emotions of this piece remain contemporary, falling in love, falling out of love, making a fool of yourself, having a triumphant moment or a feeling like you want to die.

The casting is fantastic in this film, Annette Bening plays Julia Brilliantly, vibrantly, intelligently, giddy, reckless, dramatic and diva showing that in life all people make mistake but you pick yourself up and go forward. Well, matched in family matters against Bening's performance were Jeremy Irons as the sophisticated husband and good looking Tom Sturridge playing the son Roger, there's a very touching scene between mother and son.

Loved Michael Gambon performance as the ghostly mentor Jimmie Langton just brings that sense of fun!

(Julia's in real emotional turmoil, floods of tears) "Now that's the real thing Julia, or my name's not Jimmie Langton, but I've got some notes, You're still going over the top you've got to learn restraints".

We all at times would love to have someone whisper in our ear; lay it on the line and tell us how it really should be.

Not only the cast and writing of this which was great, but a nice touch popular songs of the era They Didn't Believe Me, Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries, Mad about the Boy, I Get a Kick Out of You, She's My Lovely and many more. Directed by Istvan Szabo, Screenwriter Ronald Harwood, overall it worked, I wanted to be entertained and this film is entertaining; a lovely and joyful film to watch.

Great Film Recommended.

Andrea Bowhill"