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Miss Julie

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Norway, United Kingdom, France
·
2014

Rated PG-13 · 2h 10m

Director Liv Ullmann
Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Nora McMenamy

Genre Drama

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Over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy encourages her father's valet to seduce her.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

Both Chastain and Farrell are resourceful, intelligent actors who can be riveting together moment to moment. But the disconcerting thing about Ullmann’s blandly handsome movie is that neither of these key characters comes fully into focus.
50

Variety by Dennis Harvey

The three thesps are impressive, with Chastain and Farrell delivering fevered performances that might have been knockouts on the boards, but in this respectfully flat approach feel a bit overscaled — you can see their virtuoso technique at work.
60

New York Daily News by Joe Neumaier

Liv Ullmann’s screen version of August Strindberg’s 19th-century drama is an austere, pared-down take that does one thing extremely well: It allows actors Jessica Chastain, Samantha Morton and especially Colin Farrell to shine. But this emotionally brutal work is anything but cinematically engaging.
50

San Francisco Chronicle by Mick LaSalle

Miss Julie has almost everything — good actors, impeccable sets and direction rich in emotional detail — but it lacks madness and passion, and without those elements, it becomes a mere intellectual exercise.
83

The Playlist by Nikola Grozdanovic

Ullmann’s version of Miss Julie exists in a special cinematic category; it’s toxic, it’s hypnotic, and passionately translates Strindberg’s genius instinct for enlightening the multi-layered psychological spectrums of human desire for lust and power. It’s unforgettable in every sense of the word.
50

The Dissolve by Noel Murray

Ullmann’s Miss Julie is as dominated by long speeches and conversations as Strindberg’s, but those scenes don’t play as well when the two would-be lovers are sidling up to each other in close-up, practically panting.
60

The New York Times by Stephen Holden

Aside from the change of setting, Ms. Ullmann’s version is quite orthodox. Much more convincing than Mike Figgis’s 1999 screen adaptation, starring Saffron Burrows, it is a grueling slog through a hell of torment, cruelty and suffering.
88

Slant Magazine by Steve Macfarlane

The film is no tearjerker, but it makes the stage play's hidebound, soul-baring pleasures mesmerizing on screen, and without copping to reductivism.

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