Saturday, February 5, 2011
Best Actress 1977: Jane Fonda in Julia
Jane Fonda received her third Oscar nomination for playing famous playwright Lillian Hellman in Julia.
Julia is an intelligent, beautifully made film that I really enjoyed. It is about Lillian Hellman, a playwright, who has a lifelong friendship with a woman named Julia (Vanessa Redgrave). But they seem to have lost touch over the years, because Lillian decided to become a playwright and go to America, while Julia prefered to stay in Europe, fighting against the Nazi movement. The film is basically about how they both move further and further away from each other, and how Lillian is affected by her friend's choices over the years.
As I've said, Jane Fonda plays Lillian, and she does so wonderfully. Fonda makes Lillian a very real person, someone who is very intelligent and sophisticated, yet is naive about what is going on in Europe and Julia's situations . Fonda lets us know that Lillian really cares about Julia and is more and more saddened each time they see each other. Fonda also shows a lot of different sides to Lillian, such as the fact that she is easily angered or frustrated, and can be tough on others. One of her best moments is the cafe scene with Vanessa Redgrave. Redgrave may be the more interesting character in the scene, yet Fonda is remarkable in showing how Lillian reacts to what Julia tells her. And the way she looks back at her right before she leaves is amazing. Fonda completely controls this movie, and she does so such confidence, and excellent delivery. Plus, I don't think I've ever seen her in a movie where she is more beautiful then she is here, in some moments she's simply gorgeous.
The only slight issue I have is that the script doesn't develop the friendship between them enough. I knew they were isolated from each other for years, but I simply wanted more. I also found it unbelievable(SPOILER ALERT) that Lillian would have agreed to raise Julia's baby, just like that. I simply didn't believe it.
But this is more of a complaint about the film, and it doesn't change the fact that Fonda gave a fantastic performance, that is one of her best, which gets