Being Julia

( 2 )

Overview

Annette Bening won a handful of year-end awards as well as an Oscar nomination for her work in István Szabó's comedy Being Julia. Her commentary, also with the director as well as her co-star Jeremy Irons, makes it clear how much she enjoyed making the film and enjoyed playing the part. The movie is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Additional supplemental materials include deleted ...
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Overview

Annette Bening won a handful of year-end awards as well as an Oscar nomination for her work in István Szabó's comedy Being Julia. Her commentary, also with the director as well as her co-star Jeremy Irons, makes it clear how much she enjoyed making the film and enjoyed playing the part. The movie is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Additional supplemental materials include deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; The Making of Being Julia; Commentary by Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, and director István Szabó; Behind the Scenes of Being Julia; Deleted scenes
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Many film fans believe that the 2004 Academy Award for Best Actress should have gone to Annette Bening for her dazzling turn as an aging actress in this theatrical drama, rather than Million Dollar Baby's Hilary Swank. Whichever side of this apples-and-oranges comparison you favor, there’s no denying Bening’s brilliance in Being Julia based on a 1937 novel by Somerset Maugham, which casts her as fading star Julia Lambert toiling in a successful play but weary of life behind the footlights -- or so she thinks. Her British husband Jeremy Irons has turned a blind eye to her less-than-passionate affair with a fickle aristocrat Bruce Greenwood, and for a little excitement she takes up with an admiring American accountant Shaun Evans half her age. And then along comes a pretty young ingénue Lucy Punch, who not only arouses the interest of accountant's but that of Julia's husband as well. If you think this sounds a little like All About Eve, you're absolutely right. Bening's Julia Lambert is very much like Bette Davis's Margo Channing in Eve, and she handles personal crises much the same way. Julia's big showdown takes place on stage, where the veteran actress improvises an entire act with dialogue intended to vent her frustration while compelling the other performers to play along. Director Istvan Szabo Mephisto and screenwriter Ronald Harwood The Dresser are old hands at creating a convincing theatrical milieu. But it's Bening's bravura turn, perhaps her best to date, that really sets this film ablaze.
All Movie Guide
With Being Julia, Annette Bening got aced out of the Best Actress statue for the second time in five years, both times finishing (presumably) second to Hilary Swank. At least this time, any perceived injustice is mitigated: the film and her performance are less worthy of the gold than American Beauty. Being Julia is at times a broad comedy, other times a light melodrama, but always an excellent showcase for an aging actress willing to admit that her ingenue days are over. Bening received well-deserved kudos for diving into the role, which is vanity-free, not to mention too close to home for many actresses her age. However, her performance is not as note-perfect as one would expect from an Oscar front-runner, though this may be a fault of the writing or of István Szabó's direction. It's not clear whether Julia Lambert is supposed to be a good actress or just a popular one, but in Bening's hands she wildly overacts and preens like a spoiled diva. That's in keeping with the film's comedic agenda, but neither choice seems entirely organic. It's the departures from this that earn Bening her accolades. Without that protective shell of sarcasm, Bening's moments of vulnerability wouldn't have such power and feel so true, which in turn legitimizes those choices. Among the supporting roles, Lucy Punch is funny as Julia's coquettish young rival, but Juliet Stevenson is criminally underused. Ronald Harwood's script is an inevitable comedown from his Oscar-winning screenplay for The Pianist, but it does make for light period comedy that's more than just Bening's movie.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/22/2005
  • UPC: 043396091740
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 26,943

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Annette Bening Julia Lambert
Jeremy Irons Michael Gosselyn
Bruce Greenwood Lord Charles
Miriam Margolyes Dolly de Vries
Juliet Stevenson Evie
Technical Credits
István Szabó Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start
2. Tom Fennel
3. Dolly
4. Invitation
5. One Big Pose
6. Tea With Tom
7. "You Don't Look So Bad"
8. Enjoying Herself Again
9. Tightening
10. The Older Woman
11. A Very Modern Couple
12. An English Thing
13. Learn Restraint
14. What It's All About
15. The Transparent Boy
16. A Role for Avice
17. Clever Girl
18. "You Were Awful"
19. Audition
20. Rehearsal
21. A Fling With Daddy
22. Far Too Angelic
23. For Old Times Sake
24. Opening Night
25. A Lesson in Upstaging...
26. ...and Improvisation
27. Spoils of War
28. Dining Alone
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary With Director István Szabó, Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons On
      Commentary With Director István Szabó, Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons Off
      Behind teh Scenes of Being Julia
      The Making of Being Julia
      Deleted Scenes
      Previews
         Bad Education
         Head in the Clouds
         House of Flying Daggers
         William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
   Previews
      Bad Education
      Head in the Clouds
      House of Flying Daggers
      William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Good

    Being Julia was one of my favourite movies at a time (not an all time favourite but still). So I watched it a couple of times, and I think it is a good, solid movie with great performances. It is based on a Somerset Maugham story (The Theatre, I think) - I read that too, both are good.
    It is about Julia (Anette Bening), a middle-aged theatre actress, a big star, who has made a very rational, sensible marriage with her director (Jeremy Irons) - the marriage actually is much better described in the book and explains a lot of things. She has a son, a friend and a maid who she can count on, she is famous, but she is unhappy, and afraid of aging. She starts an affair with a much younger man, only to realize that he uses her to get a part for his love (who is also the lover of Julia`s husband). Julia gets the girl a part (although she is totally without talent) and they play on stage together. The ending is hilarious, uplifting, justifying. In short, Julia shows how she got where she is now, what kind of strengh she possesses despite all sadness, and who her true friends are.
    The acting is great. Anette Bening should have received an Oscar for this part, she WAS Julia.
    Watch it, I think it is a good movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews