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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Annette Bening
Jeremy Irons
Michael Gambon
Shaun Evans
Annette Bening
Jeremy Irons
Bruce Greenwood
Miriam Margolyes
Juliet Stevenson.
Directors
Istvan Szabo
Istvan Szabo.
Screenwriters
Ronald Harwood
Ronald Harwood.
Running Time
104 minutes

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Being Julia
Backstage comedy-melodrama starring Annette Bening.


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Plot
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...


Review
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.


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


Reviewed by Anna Smith

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Empire Star Rating

Being Julia

Being Julia (2004) The first thing that needs to be said about this theatrical dram is the stunning performance by Annette Bening. Playing the lead role of a 1930's theatre star Bening gives one the best performances I have seen in a long time for any actress. She is the heart and soul of this film and it is a pleasure to watch her stunning portrayl of a theatre star who falls in alove with a younger man. The plot is solid enough and the script is quite excellent. Annette Bening is J... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DanielFullard at 10:24, 15 February 2006 | Report This Post


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