Julia Review

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Julia is an alcoholic with little hope of reforming. She is asked to kidnap a boy back from his rich grandfather, for his mum, but double-crosses her for more money. She ends up in Mexico with the boy, and it starts to get even more complicated.


It’s a pity that Erick Zonca’s long-running effort never quite finds the right balance between its two driving forces — indie character study and film noir. Tilda Swinton is typically strong in the lead, an alcoholic go-nowhere who gets involved with a doomed plot to kidnap the wealthy child of a fellow AA member, but the cruel, sudden twists of genre-inspired fate never gel comfortably with the carefully considered building of her character.

This is not really sure what it wants to be, an out-an-out thriller or a character portrait, but it exels at both in parts.