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Running Time:
1 hour, 45 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for some sexuality

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A pleasant mix of ‘30s screwball comedy and campy melodrama that's a tour de force for Annette Bening.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: The making of Being Julia; Commentary by Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons and director István Szabó; Behind the scenes of Being Julia; Deleted scenes.

Being Julia
The film directed by István Szabó (Sunshine) with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) is based on Somerset Maugham's novella "Theater." It portrays the London's theatrical scene in the late '30's and centers on the affairs of Julia Lambert (Annette Bening), the great star of the London theater. Her acting career is in a slump and she threatens to give it up until she meets a visiting young American, Tom Fennell (Shaun Evans) who's hired as an assistant to her who's also her platonic husband (Jeremy Irons) producer and manager. Her marital relationship gives her the freedom to do almost anything she wants, as long as she continues bringing in audiences, so she keeps herself busy engaging in affairs first with her outgoing older partner Lord Charles (Bruce Greenwood) and then with young Tom. Her new affair gives her a much-need boost in energy and her performance on stage improves, but her success is short-lived as Tom's interest wanes when he becomes enamored of a much younger actress (Lucy Punch). As a favor to Tom, Julia arranges an audition for the girl for a part in her next play. Then Julia gets her revenge right there on stage. Throughout the delightful film Julia gets continual advice from her deceased former mentor (the always-excellent Michael Gambon). He appears at every vital moment giving her sound advice on men and the stage. He warns her off having the affair with Tom, chatises her for being generous towards the young actress, and guides her whenever she's unsure what to do next. Wonderful performances abound including Miriam Margolyes as Dolly de Vries the financier of Julia's theatrical productions, and Juliet Stevenson as her dresser. The film has enough surprises to keep you entertained throughout, especially in the madcap finale; but it's Annette Bening in a dynamic comeback performance that you'll remember most fondly at awards time.

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