MISS JULIE, the oft-produced play by August Stringberg, has now been obliterated. The new movie of the play, directed with a screenplay based upon Strindberg's original, by Liv Ullmann, while seemingly true to the words and intentions of the playwright, gives such clarity, dignity and fullness to the three characters on view that it simply wipes the floor with every other version I've so far seen.
Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell (above) and Samantha Morton (below).
Miss Chastain certainly rises to the challenge that Ullmann has set. She gives a thrillingly real, moment-to-moment performance that keeps us off-balance and yet in her corner. She's regal, gorgeous, sexual, commanding, frightened and finally greatly changed, even before the film's ending -- which, as I recall, is more blatant here than in the play.
Nora McMenamy). While this may not be completely necessary, it begins the film with a lush look at the family's estate while providing some clues to the girl's parents and her upbringing. It also ties visually the film's beginning to its sad end.
Wrekin Hill Entertainment and running 129 minutes, opens this Friday in New York (at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema) and Los Angeles (at The Landmark).