Directed by Erick Zonca
France | USA | Mexico | Belgium 2008

 

Tilda Swinton is fearless. She’ll take on any role without her ego, paycheck, vanity or career path playing a part. All that matters, apparently, is whether the movie interests her, and whether she thinks she can do something interesting with the role. She almost always can. She hasn’t often been more fascinating than in “Julia,” a nerve-wracking thriller with a twisty plot and startling realism.

We have not seen this Tilda before — but then, we haven’t seen most of the Tildas before. This one is an alcoholic slut who lacks what we are pleased to call normal feminine emotions. She’s just been fired from another job. Her pattern is to get sloppy drunk every night and drag a strange man to bed. She needs money. Her neighbor Elena (Kate del Castillo) comes to her with an offer. Her young son is now living with his millionaire grandfather, who won’t allow her to see him. She needs somebody to help her kidnap the child.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

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Theatrical Release: February 9th, 2008 - Berlin International Film Festival

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DVD Review: Magnolia Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Magnolia Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:23:30 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.51 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Deleted Scenes (26:04 - letterbox widescreen)
• Trailer (1:57)
• Magnolia Previews (9:19)

DVD Release Date: August 18th, 2009

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Chapters: 20

 

Comments:

Every time I see Tilda Swinton I think she must be the greatest actress working today. She is chameleon-like and her performance in Julia is another in her list of magical transformations. This is quite a nail-biter of a film and, despite its length, it is able to keep the tension and is very much worth seeing.

Magnolia have given us a decent DVD effort - dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive. The film maintain a certain level of hand-held, gritty realism that keeps the image quality from getting too intimate, detailed or glossy. This mimics the lead's loose-cannon persona. Close-ups exhibit reasonable sharpness and colors seem true if, probably, slightly washed. Visuals can, frequently, show the softness of the format but the desert scenery can be quite impressive. I'm beginning to sound repetitious but I think Julia is certainly worthy of Blu-ray treatment. It would bring out the grain that lies just beneath the digital surface of the SD-DVD and tighten up the colors a notch. Because the film is so heavily rooted in Swinton's performance, I'll wager that the improved resolution would bond her character of Julia to us even more so and heighten the film's reality and suspense. 

Audio, in both 2.0 and 5.1 channel flavors is fairly unremarkable although there is some aggressive personal interaction that gets a bit spread through the surrounds. This region 1, NTSC edition offers only optional Spanish subtitles.

A commentary is warranted but the film's length probably kept consideration for this on the back-burner. Instead we get almost a 1/2's worth of deleted scenes (letterbox widescreen) - most are fairly inconsequential and the decision to leave them out seems appropriate. Beyond that just a trailer for the film and, too many, Magnolia previews to start the feature presentation.

This DVD has an adept transfer and the film is strongly recommended. More supplements would have been a nice bonus but Julia itself will be satisfying enough for many. We recommend!   

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Magnolia Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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