Friday, September 10, 2004

The first Gala

The big events at the festival are the galas, the first big one was Being Julia directed by István Szabó

Back in the 1930s, Somerset Maughmam wrote a novel called "Theater" and it was nasty little trifles that are remembered fondly by some and forgotten by most, but are rediscovered every now and again. Thus it is with this:

Julia Lambert(Annette Bening) is an actress, ON THE STAGE, DAH-LING, and she’s getting a bit bored.She wants her impresario husband (Jeremy Irons) to let her go on vacation. But he doesn’t want to do it because who would take her place? But then there’s other fish to fry, after all, and soon she’s having an affair with a peachy young thing named Tom(Shaun Evans) and this seems to do the trick. But Tom, being a man after all, quickly tires of being "kept" and soon he’s going out with Avis(Lucy Punch), who has lots of talent, not only in bed, and soon she’s to star in Julia’s next production.

Oh the fun, oh the joy while we see Somerset Maghman’s brain work up how Julia decides to wreak her revenge on Tom and Avis.

The film is a bit on the silly side, and I’m not too sure how likeable Julia’s character is. The only genuinely sympathetic of the principles is Avis, who is only doing what any young actress would do in her situation.

It’s all very nice, in a "Masterpiece Theater"/Merchant-Ivory kind of way, but this isn’t as great as the advertising makes it out to be.

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