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Swinton plays an out-of-control alcoholic, subject to blackouts, who lies constantly. Nothing that ever comes out of her mouth is the truth.
Desperately needing money, she devises a not-to-well-thought-out plot to kidnap the 8-year-old grandson of an ultra wealthy gent whose estranged, emotionally disturbed mother she met at an AA gathering.
Swinton has no intention of turning the kid over to his mother, but plans to ransom him to the grandfather for two million dollars. Unfortunately for her, Grandpa soon learns her identity and she is forced to flee to Mexico with the boy, who is soon taken from her by some professional kidnappers. Now, Swinton, who has actually become fond of the child, will do everything in her power to get him back.
Erick Zonca directed this riveting thriller, released onto DVD by Magnolia Home Entertainment.
© Michael B Druxman
Usually, I get the feeling that Ms. Swinton says "I'll do anything!" but that the people who make her films think she'll do EVERYTHING and show up without the ideas, structure or stamina to support her wild excursions into darkness and beyond. This film gives her a meaty role in a difficult story and gives it room to grow. The film is kind of a long shaggy dog story, rather like John Cassavetes directing a Sam Peckinpah film.
This JULIA is a nasty, promiscuous, unemployable black out alcoholic who ends up talked into a kidnapping scheme by the crazy unfit mother who lives in her building. If you think this might be your sort of film, be aware- she doesn't become a saint- or even much nicer- over the playing time. When most American films would be wrapping up, JULIA explodes into a new location, country, style and multiplies in ferocity and violence. Instead of softening into redemption, our heroine meets characters even nastier than she is and is forced to up the stakes.
This is the best female performance I've seen since Mimi Rogers in THE RAPTURE. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I can't wait to see it again.
Julia is a bright but flawed person. She is an alcoholic who spends her nights drinking herself into oblivion only to wake up the next morning not recognizing her bed partner or the surroundings of her comatosed night of stupor. Swinton makes us understand this character's 'way with men' in her grossly revealing clothes and her flirtations backed by a mouth of filth. Julia loses her job over her drunken tardiness and has ruined a 'relationship' with ex-alcoholic Mitch (Saul Rubinek) and finally goes to an AA meeting where she meets Elena (Kate Del Castillo), a pathetic recovering alcoholic whose only goal in life is to retrieve her son Tom (Aidan Gould) from his wealthy disapproving grandfather. Julia is so desperate for money that she buys into a bizarre 'kidnapping' of Tom for Elena, a decision that triggers all of the rest of the film's journey through crime and sleaze as Julia fails at every effort to 'play the game' of criminal to make a fortune. Traveling from Los Angeles through the desert to Mexico, along the way Julia encounters 'co-facilitators' in her new life of crime - portrayed by such fine actors as Bruno Bichir (Demian Bichir's brother), a new and fine young actor Horacio Garcia Rojas, and Eugene Byrd to name only a few of the standout performances.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rough!! However, one of the best movies I've ever seen. Tilda Swinton is incredible in this role.Published 1 month ago by Karl Becher
Would not watch again. Swinton does a good job in her role. Script is so so.Published 7 months ago by Shirley J. Henderson
This is a very well acted suspense movie. The cast is excellent.Published 7 months ago by Charlotte R Weinberger
Tilda Swinton as Julia plays out her degenerate role in a scenario of addiction, murder, pathological deceit and about every other class of crime one can imagine. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joe S
Here is a story of Julia, an American woman, living in LA. She is an alcoholic, always in between miserable, low paying jobs and have frequent one night stands. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Eugenia
Poor Tilda is a total hot mess in this film. Funny but with scenes of an abducted boy being tied up, thrown in a trunk and other abuse. It is not a movie of light entertainment. Read morePublished 10 months ago by AgentChin