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Miss Julie

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Mike Figgis

Based on the one-act play by August Strindberg, MISS JULIE takes place during a midsummer festival in late-19th-century Sweden. The title character, played by Saffron Burrows, is the daughter of the the lord of the manor; bored, restless, and lonesome, … see full wiki

Director: Mike Figgis
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 10, 1999
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Miss Julie

Miss Julie

  • Aug 31, 2002
Rating:
+1
Pros: decent enough but strange

Cons: drags some but not bad

The Bottom Line: A little dark


Darkly perverse and out of touch with reality, Miss Julie (Saffron Burrows), daughter of the Lord of the manor (who we never see), is taken with the summer solstice and the debauchery of the servants of the manor. The Count, her father, has gone to town and Miss Julie stays behind to become part of the revelry.

A strange woman by all counts, Julie is taken with the staid and proper footsman Jean (Peter Mullan) and turns her attentions in his direction. Jean isn’t so proper as to refuse the winsome Julie, but he knows his place in society. However, he also has dreams of his own. Someday he wants to run his own hotel and have servants under him, one of which would be Miss Julie.

Jean is also ‘kinda’ engaged to the kitchen servant Christine (Maria Doyle Kennedy), a somewhat proper Catholic girl. Not so proper that she doesn’t flip up her skirts for Jean when he wants, but proper just the same. Christine also knows her place in society.

The marriage of these three personalities is quite bizarre and the outcome was very surprising.

Originally written as a play, Fröken Julie, by August Strindberg, it was written for the screen by Helen Cooper and directed by Mike Figgis. It is definitely a movie that shows separation of classes in another time, something that really hasn’t changed all that much through the ages.

Saffron Burrows displays almost an ethereal quality throughout the movie, slipping into the mental character of Julie with ease. Although there are many times the movie drags unmercifully, it still holds your attention enough to wonder just how or when the dynamite will explode in these relationships. It reminded me a great deal, as it progressed, of 9-1/2 Weeks, with the almost servitude attitudes of Julie and Christine to Jean.

I found Peter Mullan to be almost fussy, almost prim, in his portrayal. In the end I didn’t care for him at all, not him personally but the part he was playing. In fact, he almost made me feel dirty and abused myself. Maria Kennedy, although one of the lead parts in the movie, was shown so little that you felt nothing but abject pity for her.

Perhaps my favorites were the flighty little scullery maids as they played around singing their dirty little ditty about Miss Julie. Bad little girls – grin.

Great detail was paid to period clothing and attitudes. Make no bones about it, this is a sad movie. Not a hanky movie but one that ends in a place you didn’t expect, but should have.

Thanks,
Susi



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