Miss Julie (2/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 129 minutes.
Not for Children.
Liv Ullman got her reputation by acting in the films of Ingmar Bergman.
Bergman specialized in long, actionless, slow films that people who read
The New Yorker suffered through and then spoke knowingly at
cocktail parties as if they actually understood and enjoyed them.
Now she visualizes herself as a writer/director and adapted August
Strindberg’s play into a film of which Bergman would be proud, starring
Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. It is long, actionless, and slow. At
one point I turned to my friend and said, “That makes no sense at all.”
Alas, I can’t remember what “that” was. It set the watch test record.
Chastain is Miss Julie and Farrell is valet for her father, an unseen
Baron. The film starts out with her teasing him and segues into him
seducing her and it goes downhill from there, ending, as do most Bergman
The back and forth between Miss Julie and Farrell is annoying and
inscrutable. At least in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)
the characters’ vituperation at each other is consistent.
There were a couple of things good about it, however. Samantha Morton
gives a fine performance as Farrell’s fiancé and the cinematography of
late 19th Century Ireland is rewarding.