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Being Julia [DVD] [2004] [2009]

Annette Bening , Jeremy Irons , Michael Gambon    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: £2.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Being Julia [DVD] [2004] [2009] + Taking Sides [2003] [DVD] + Confidence (Bizalom) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, Bruce Greenwood, Miriam Margoyles, Juliet Stevenson
  • Directors: Michael Gambon
  • Producers: Mychael Dann
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Hindi
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007LYDFU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,946 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Annette Bening's outstanding performance is the best reason to see Being Julia, a highly melodramatic adaptation of the 1937 novel Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham. With a prestigious pedigree (director Istvan Szabo and screenwriter Ronald Harwood share impressive theatrical backgrounds) and a stellar cast including Jeremy Irons, Bruce Greenwood, and Juliet Stevenson, the film's backstage and onstage theatrics take place in pre-World War II London, when the venerable actress Julia (Bening) fends off middle-age by romancing a stage-struck young American (Shaun Evans) in a calculated attempt to retain some youthful vitality while airing her own dirty laundry onstage in a glorious act of divine diva behavior. Treating life and theater as one big play in which she's the perpetual star, Julia's nothing if not a master thespian, and Bening's got all the chops to keep her in the spotlight. If the film isn't quite worthy of Bening's excellence, at least it gives her performance the showcase it deserves. -- Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Romantic comedy set in the world of the London stage in the late 1930s. Annette Bening stars as the beautiful and beguiling actress Julia Lambert. She is at her peak, physically and professionally, but her successful theatrical career and her marriage to handsome impresario Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons) have become stale and unfulfilling. Enter Tom Fennell (Shaun Evans), a younger man who claims to be Julia's greatest fan. Finding his ardor irresistible, she decides that romance is the best antidote to a mid-life crisis and embarks on a passionate affair. Life becomes more daring and exciting, until Julia's young lover callously tries to relegate her to a supporting role. But on opening night, Julia reveals that she is a more formidable actress than anyone ever imagined.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Annette Benning: Always good 4 Oct 2005
Format:DVD
I don't usually like "Period Drama" but this is a bit of a gem, mainley due to a superb cast topped by the brillient Annette Benning with her perfect English accent.
This is a film with everything; drama, comedy, sadness, sex, love and a clever twist.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Istvan Szabo's "Being Julia," is based on Sommerset Maugham's wickedly funny 1937 novel "Theatre" as adapted by Ronald Harwood who had also done "The Pianist." The story is a funny, sexy, worldly-wise presentation of London's 1938 art deco-era theater scene.
Similar to Szabo's "Mephisto" (1981), "Being Julia" is in love with actors and their profession. To this film's considerable advantage, the cast is absolutely first-rate.
As the movie opens, Julia Lambert (played to the hilt by a stunnningly beautiful Annette Bening), is a legendary stage actress with the heart of a carefree girl and a spring steel spine. She's the toast of the West End theater world and still playing 29-year-old femmes fatale. She is enjoying her latest triumph and is about to have lunch with her hared boiled manager and husband, the exceedingly vain ex-actor Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons).
Incidentally, "Being Julia" is only Annette Bening's 17th film. Indeed, she's only been on the acting scene since 1990. Bening has the grace and magnetism of a legend, a genuine sophistication and star quality that make her watchable in anything.
Back to the story. Abruptly, a third party is added - a young, American accountant Tom Fennel (Shaun Evans). Tom worships Julia and the London theater and, in later scenes in which Bening's Julia cannot stop laughing, seduces the all-too-willing older woman.
In Julia's life offstage, she's always "on," always ready to greet her public, keen to be talked about in the newspapers and gossiped about on the street. Her marriage to Michael is very off-beat. He's either oblivious or apathetic to Julia's affairs. But he's both her biggest fan and harshest critic. When Julia wails in a moment of self-pity: "I'm a bitch!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Your only reality is the theatre" 22 Sep 2005
Format:DVD
"Being Julia" is a very good movie (maybe 4 stars?), that somewhat ends up being absolutely wonderful in the last ten minutes, and thus deserves to be given 5 stars.
Julia Lambert (an spectacular Annette Bening), the main character, is a very successful and temperamental actress who is bored out of her mind with her routine. Julia has money and fame, but she wants a holiday from the theatre and her husband Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons), who is at the same her manager. However, all her boredom vanishes quickly when she plunges into an affair with an attractive young American, Tom Fennel (Shaun Evans). She is 45 and he is in his twenties, but they have an exhilarating affair, for a while.
Unfortunately, there are lots of beautiful young actresses in 1930's London, and Tom meets one of them, Avice Crichton (Lucy Punch). Avice is an ambitious young actress, and manages to get a part in Julia's new play thanks to the intervention of a lovesick Tom. But will Julia let bygones be bygones in her relationship with Tom, or will she take revenge in her turf when Avice goes to far in her quest for stardom?. Watch "Being Julia", and enjoy the show :)
Of course, there is much more to this film that what I have told you, but that is the gist of the plot. Other secondary characters that bring even more life to "Being Julia" are Julia's son, Roger (Tom Sturridge), her personal maid Evie (Juliet Stevenson), and her friend, Lord Charles (Bruce Greenwood). But probably the most important secondary character is Jimmie Langton (Michael Gambon), Julia's erstwhile mentor, who happens to be dead but nonetheless peppers the movie with his advice to Julia. His opinion was, and continues to be, of the utmost importance to Julia.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being Julia, Being Brilliant 11 April 2005
Format:DVD
Annette Bening really does light up the screen in 'Being Julia', which is about stage actress Julia Lambert and is set in 1938 London, in the glamourous yet somewhat pretentious world of the West End. Directed by Istvan Szabo, screenplay by Ronald Harwood (Academy Award winner for 'The Pianist'), the film is based on Sommerset Maugham's novel 'Theatre'.
Bening, who was nominated Best Actress for the Katherin Hepburn-like role, is joined by a brilliant supporting cast; very British, very good; we have Jeremy Irons playing Julia's husband, Michael Gambon as her former coach, Juliet Stevenson as her aide, Miriam Margolyes as the pushy co-owner of the theatre, and Julia's stage rival played by Lucy Punch, who you might recognise as Elaine from the Martin Clunes ITV comedy 'Doc Martin'.
The film starts with Julia Lambert bored with her current play and longing for excitement and change. Enter Tom Fennell, a young American who claims he is Julia's greatest fan. Finding his cute-boy appeal irresistible, she decides that romance is the best antidote to a mid-life crisis and embarks on a passionate affair. Her life becomes more daring and exciting and you watch as her on stage performances match the intensity of her affair. Until, that is, he falls in love with up-and-coming actress Avice Crichton, who is twenty years younger then Julia and who is to star alongside her in her new play. Critics are hailing in Avice Crichton as the "new Julia Lambert" but on opening night, Julia reveals that she is a more formidable actress than anyone ever imagined.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but crying out for a leading lady with a wider range
If you fancy a period drama of the stagey Noel Coward variety then it's worth giving this a try. I enjoyed it, but all the way through I couldn't help thinking how much better it... Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2012 by Bookwoman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Roaring Thirties ...
Nicely done film adaptation of W Somerset Maugham's excellent novel 'Theatre' ... for those - like me - who are very fond of the book, the cinema or dvd will be approached with... Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2010 by Green Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Not In Kansas Anymore
For generations American actresses strugled with English accents. Even Bette Davis and Kathrine Hepburn with their New England upbringings struggled at it. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2008 by David R. Bishop
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, with a star turn by Annette Bening
It's the late Thirties, and Julia Lambert (Annette Bening) is the reigning queen of the London theater. Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer
5.0 out of 5 stars Deft, charming and really funny
I loved this film - it is small and light - nothing too meaningful, but beautifully played, exquisitely drawn characters, and a brilliant ending. Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2007 by Jaybird
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Great cast, good reviews, but I turned it off after 25 minutes, it was just not interesting in any way. Just dull!
Published on 3 May 2006 by J. E. Padden
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Sweet Revenge!!!
"Being Julia" is one of those old-fashioned "theatre" movies that they simply don't make any more (but fortunately for us, they did!). Based on a story by W. Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2006 by F. S. L'hoir
5.0 out of 5 stars Maturity and treachery beat youth and skill once again
I'm convinced that Annette Bening has the warmest and most enveloping of smiles. I'm enchanted.
In BEING JULIA, it's the latter half of the 1930s. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2005 by Joseph Haschka
5.0 out of 5 stars What you see depends on who you are !
This film has had a slightly mixed review here on Amazon which I think it does not deserve. It's a fine character study of a maturing person not a rotten story about abortive... Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2005 by H. Julian
2.0 out of 5 stars Being Julia
This film was a big disappointment, after seeing it's five star ratings i thought i would give it a go. Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2005
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