Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Julia" - comments by Andy

I hate movies like "Julia." The acting is so well done that I'm forced to actually pay attention to the movie's plot. And I hate stories like "Julia."

I don't hate the story about falling-down alcoholic reaches rock bottom and has to make a change. I don't hate the story about slightly-psychotic mother trying to get her kid back. What I hate is incompetent criminality.

How do you lose a gun in the middle of the road? Julia was obviously an idiot, but that much? Why would you bring the other million with you for the hand-off? Who trusts an over-friendly local enough to sleep with him (and subsequently lose your bounty (the kid) while you are sleeping off a hang-over)? I thought for a moment I was going to like her when she blew Miguel away. After that she was a raging idiot, pure and simple. I almost don't even care that things work out for her and Tom.

Boy though, I'll bet that if Tilda Swinton hadn't won an Oscar the year before for "Michael Clayton," she might have been nominated for "Julia." Powerful stuff. I especially thought her portrayal of drunk Julia (pre-kidnapping) was top-notch. I could genuinely feel her hitting rock-bottom.

And I will say this about the film - several times during the film I caught myself making sure my little girl was still playing in her room. Of course, if needed (god forbid...), I hope that I would have the mental fortitude and skill-set to approach the situation less like Julia Harris, and more like Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) in "Taken."


Jason Pyles, Movie Critic said...


I laughed out loud when you revealed that what you actually hate is "incompetent criminality."

I hope you don't resent my follow-up questions. It's not that I'm second-guessing you. I just want to hear more about what you think:

Unless we're talking about a so-called "professional criminal" (aka someone who commits crime for a living), don't you think it's more credible to see an everyman (or everywoman) be a bumbling, fumbling nervous wreck in the midst of high-pressure, high-stakes criminal acts? I've always thought it enhances the authenticity of the artificial world portrayed before us.

But you definitely have a point about her sleeping with that local guy. Dumb. And yes, she wasn't very careful about keeping an eye on that kid. He could've gotten away several times.

And I know what you mean about checking on your little one. Kidnapping stories boil my blood. It's very upsetting. And yes, my favorite part was when she blew Miguel away, too.


Andy Howell said...

Jason - I think you answered your own question. No, I don't expect every criminal action to be carried out with the precision of a Jason Bourne or James Bond, and yes, I do find a genuineness when everyday people with everyday problems commit crimes and screw it up. Such is the basis of more films than I can mention. But Julia sucked so terribly at committing kidnapping that I actually don't find it believable at all. A normal person wouldn't screw it up so badly. And it makes me angry...