The film is actually the story of a beloved friendship between (future) playwriter Lillian Hellman (she was the author of The Children’s Hour and more of a socialist) and Julia (played by Vanessa Redgrave in an Oscar winning performance – for those who are familiar with the rest of the nominees in that category, she had no competition :p ). It’s a smart film, part biographical, done in a classier way, with a superb cinematography, beautiful beautiful music and very relevant cinematography. I consider it to be a film for those who love a soft period drama with great acting in it. For almost half of it, it’s also what I call a spy movie for those who love actresses. No shootings, just stylish tension.
A dramatic performance done well does wonders for me. I admit I underestimated it at first and it’s not easy to explain why I was so charmed. Jane Fonda offers many layers to a complex character; it’s the work of an experienced actress who (unexpected for me) was able to pull off the innocence of Lillian, transforming a character that could’ve been rigid in a very likeable one, a woman whose feelings, desires and emotions you can relate to. Yet, to prove that she still has the power to do high drama and tears, she blows us away in the last 10 minutes, when the film actually needed her to underline the tragedy of the story. Fonda knew when to be more restrained (café scene) and when to go full speed. I admire that. Although, for a talent this big, I bet it was childplay :) because she had me.