The actress, Julia Lambert, finds herself bored with her career, her devoted husband, and desperate to experience something new and exciting in her life. She finds what she is looking for in a fling with a handsome young fan.
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Apart from my slight delay in twigging that Julia's mentor, Jimmy Langton (Michael Gambon) was present only in spirit, (quite a presence-full spirit!)
I enjoyed this fresh and naive slice of 1930's theatre-land romantic intrigue. Good clean fun.
It's well put together but I do wonder why a director as talented as Szabo chooses such insubstantial material. Harwood adapts Maugham with a similar enthusiasm for old school theatre as he demonstrated in his play The Dresser, but there is nothing here that comes anywhere close to that other work in terms of depicting the existential abyss that drives the performing artist raging against the dying of the light.
A near-flawless performance from Annette Bening elevates Being Julia, the story of an older female actress who expertly uses her main talent to exact a delicious revenge on some younger folks who view her as someone they can use to their advantage, to something great.
Shaun Evans and Lucy Punch are both very good, Jeremy Irons and Miriam Margolyes both have a lot of fun, and Michael Gambon is his usual solid self.