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Being Julia Review

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A 1930's diva goes through a mid-life crisis. She does what we'd all do, and finds a bit of totty half her age. But of course things rarely go to plan, and hell hath no fury...

★★★★★

Annette Bening may not be the obvious choice to play an ageing British stage actress in the 1930s, but she does a good job of holding this slightly rambling comedy-drama together. Based on a Somerset Maugham novel, Being Julia sees theatrical diva Julia Lambert approaching a midlife crisis, which is temporarily resolved by an affair with a much younger American man (Evans).

For a woman who defines herself by her sexuality, his eventual betrayal comes as a great blow, and her creative payback brightens an otherwise routine period pic, with the suspenseful, bitterly funny revenge sequence shining brightest. It's a shame the suggested theme of identity remains undeveloped, but there are enough laughs and splashes of nostalgic glamour to excuse that.

Bening is certainly a strong enough performer to make this worthwhile, and who doesn't like a 30's boytoy?

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