Friday, August 28, 2009

Catching Up #40: JULIA by Erick Zonca

As evidenced in the 2008 film Julia, Tilda Swinton has some of the biggest balls in Hollywoodland. Her performance as the titular (nice) character in this bug-fuck sleeper is one of the most fearless I've seen in years. The movie itself ain't too bad neither.

Julia follows an alcoholic party girl who has lost her job and the trust of her few remaining friends. At an AA meeting she meets a crazy-eyed young woman who offers her a job: If Julia helps her kidnap her son back from his wealthy grandfather, she'll give her thousands of dollars. After the initial stakeout of where they plan to take the boy, Julia does the job on her own with the intent to get millions out of the grandfather instead. But, you know, that shit just ain't that easy...

What really makes Julia such an intense experience, is that Julia is shown to be such a fucking drunk wreck that we're constantly in fear for this little kid's life. I mean, if you can't handle child-in-jeopardy stories, this movie is definitely not for your ass. Director Erick Zonca knows how to keep you twisting in your seat throughout, every scene offering some terrible possibility to make your fucking guts turn.

He also shoots the film in a naturalistic style, the look helped out by the improvisational feel of the dialogue and performances. Julia is constantly lying, be it to authority figures, friends. accomplices, or - most often - her hostage, and Swinton truly sells the idea that she's just coming up with bullshit off the top of her head. Zonca's film is the rare crime film not concerned with great zingers and sharp dialogue so much as it is with people sounding natural.

The movie might run a little long (it's damned near two-and-a-half hours), but you're never bored because you're convinced that all bets are off, that anything - no matter how horrible - can fucking happen. So if you like you can handle a decidedly fucking un-slick crime film that has the power to make you woozy with dread, you better netflix yourself Julia toot-fucking-sweet.

Also, don't trust that lamer-than-fucking-lame poster. I fucking hate that shit. I mean, sell the movie for what it is: a crime film, not some sappy fucking...what the hell kinda movie is that poster trying to sell? Whoever was in charge of publicity for this film is a fucking assclown, as evidenced by the fact that this movie never opened anywhere near me here in the Twin Cities. Crime films are perfectly fucking marketable, you movie-biz douches!

1 comment:

ben said...

Thanks for heads up, hadn't heard of this one. Adding it to my queue as I type.