MISS JULIE Directed by Liv Ullmann Starring: Jessica Chastain. Colin Farrell. Samantha Morton. * Spoiler Alert * Come, dance with me again.
– Miss Julie.
I am at your service.
Don’t be afraid, Kathleen. I will not run away with your fiancé.Julie
The upstairs and downstairs class warfare screen adaptation of August Strindberg’s play by Liv Ullmann. The setting has been changed from Sweden to Ireland. The characters have been paired down from twentynine in Alf Sjoberg’s original film, to *four. At a running time of 130 minutes and a sombre story involving the three characters, it is a long slog of imminent physical numbness, but alleviated by outstanding acting which had me forgetting any discomfort. Midsummer’s Eve, when everyone regardless of class mingle and dance and enjoy the revelry. Soon the baron will return, meanwhile Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain), John (Colin Farrell) her father’s valet; and Kathleen (Samantha Morton) chomp around the country estate. Beyond the locked gates, you can hear the exuberance of the villages (in Sjoberg’s version, you get to see them). Liv Ullmann concentrates the story on the actors, and the result is that we have a film that is one of the finest examples of outstanding acting. Liv Ullmann, herself one of the great actresses who worked under the direction of Ingmar Bergman, directs Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton in their best ever roles. Each is challenged by delivering momentous monologues in one shot, with barely a cutaway to the listener. There are no cinematic tricks, what you are seeing is face-on; guaranteed to be used in acting classes and to raise the standard of what can be achieved.
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