Julia

Beautifully crafted, nominated for nine Academy Awards, a big hit at the box office--and a dramatic dud. Based on an episode from Lillian Hellman's bestselling memoirs, the film takes place in the 1930s as Fonda, playing the author, lives with Robards in a beach house. She's writing her first play and turns to famed writer Robards for his helpful (and sometimes...read more

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Beautifully crafted, nominated for nine Academy Awards, a big hit at the box office--and a dramatic dud. Based on an episode from Lillian Hellman's bestselling memoirs, the film takes place in the 1930s as Fonda, playing the author, lives with Robards in a beach house. She's writing her

first play and turns to famed writer Robards for his helpful (and sometimes cruel) criticism.

When it's done and produced successfully, Fonda decides to visit a childhood friend, Redgrave, with whom she shared some wonderful moments in their youth (shown in flashbacks with Pelikan and Jones as the girls). Redgrave moved to Austria to study medicine with Freud and became a crusader in

social matters, joining the antifascists. She was injured in a battle with the Hitler Youth and is now in a hospital in Vienna. Fonda visits Redgrave as she is recovering. Later, on a trip to Moscow, Fonda is asked by Schell, a pal of Redgrave's, if she will smuggle a large sum of money from

Russia to Germany where it will be used to aid the effort against the Nazis.

If you like red nail polish, faux-cynicism, painfully brave smiles and European train stations, JULIA may be your kind of cocktail. But Redgrave plays Julia as a noble martyr in sensible shoes, and Zinneman fails to communicate the sense of danger that her political commitment entailed. Fonda's

Hellman is a prig with writer's block and low self-esteem. Her relationship with Hammett and Julia, too, looks like hero-worship. The script, the direction and finally, Fonda's acting choices capture nothing of what made Hellman a true piss-and-vinegar original.

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  • Released: 1977
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Beautifully crafted, nominated for nine Academy Awards, a big hit at the box office--and a dramatic dud. Based on an episode from Lillian Hellman's bestselling memoirs, the film takes place in the 1930s as Fonda, playing the author, lives with Robards in a… (more)

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