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Being Julia

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Canada, United States, Hungary · 2004
Rated R · 1h 44m
Director István Szabó
Starring Michael Gambon, Annette Bening, Leigh Lawson, Shaun Evans
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance

Julia Lambert is a true diva who has it all—looks, talent, money, fame, and a devoted husband who masterminded her brilliant career. But after years in the spotlight, she longs for something new and exciting—and finds it in a handsome young fan. But it isn’t long before the novelty fling turns into more than she bargained for.

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What are critics saying?


L.A. Weekly by

But for all Bening’s high emoting and her trademark giggle, here overused to the point of annoyance, for most of its length Being Julia offers little insight into a woman whose life is ruled by theatrics.


The New York Times by Dana Stevens

Being Julia may not make much psychological or dramatic sense, but Ms. Bening, pretending to be Julia (who is always pretending to be herself), is sensational.


Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

Part of the movie's fascination is watching Ms. Bening play a role that tantalizingly mirrors her own position in today's movie world - and she does it with wit, sparkle, and all-out energy.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

Because I so enjoyed the last 45 minutes, I'm tempted to recommend it. The problem is that you have to sit through an hour to get to the worthwhile parts.


The A.V. Club by Keith Phipps

It looks handsome but seems infected by the idea of playing different roles; a comedy in one scene, it adopts a mood of a high seriousness the next and clutters the stage with minor characters that contribute little. In the end, this inability to make up its mind does the film in.


Village Voice by Leslie Camhi

Bening's comic gifts make the most of Ronald Harwood's witty screenplay, though she falls flat in her character's rare moments of sincerity.


Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman

Being Julia flirts too heavily with soap opera clichés, but it has enough surprises to keep you guessing, and for Annette Bening it's the liveliest of comebacks.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

A minor affair, a confection based on dalliances and the way a set of sophisticated theater people handle them, that lacks true distinction.

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