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Academy Award®-winner Tilda Swinton plays Julia, an alcoholic who, between shots of vodka and one-night stands, gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand. Seeing a financial opportunity after encountering a woman estranged from her son, Julia throws herself into a criminal plot that escalates beyond anything she ever imagined.
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You will never guess what happens next.
That is one rarity that I really enjoyed about `Julia'. It kept me guessing the entire time. It won me over with every plot twist and new development because it fit without being predictable. Sure, the ending was a tad comparable to a `sellout' (the single worst component to the film outside of Kate del Castillo's inconsistently unbearable performance), but it really isn't the ending as much as the last line of dialog that kind of dampens the film impact.
Really, just know that while Swinton is the best thing about this film, she is not the only reason to watch it.
`Julia' tells the story of Julia Harris; an alcoholic who is uncontrollably selfish and completely reprehensible. The first thirty minutes or so of the film simply introduce us to her lifestyle and help us to, well, dislike her. I love the performance and the treatment of Julia so much because we are never given a single reason to sympathize with her (well, until the end which is kind of expected even if it was a tad disappointing). We are basically told from the beginning that Julia is an awful person. Swinton makes sure that we believe that. When Julia is approached by a fellow AA member who is in dire need of some help, she finds herself neck deep in a LOT of trouble. Before she knows it, Julia has kidnapped an eight-year-old boy and is holding him for ransom.
But, Julia keeps digging that hole of hers deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.
The plot is so rich with originality (I mean, this material was so much stronger than I expected) that I'm just completely blown away that more people aren't campaigning this film. Yes, some of the sequences in the film run a little improbable, and some of the films overall dynamic is lost in the endings attempt at humanizing Julia, but many of the films core aspects are remarkably unique. Deciding to create a film that centers around a woman so despicable yet utterly human was a risk that I am SO glad Erick Zonca took.