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Julia and Julia Movie Review

process peter monte time

Here's a word of advice to filmmakers who plan to shave production costs by shooting your major motion pictures in the new, improved high-definition video process: DON'T! If Oscar-nominated cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno couldn't pull it off in Julia and Julia, you won't be able to either at this stage of the game. The process looks okay, better then a kinescope, anyway, if every single one of your actors doesn't move a muscle. Once you yell “action,” though, there's no such thing as a fluid motion on-screen, and if you're working with pigeons as extras, forget it. You may as well substitute Dramamine for Jujubes because you'll need it after 96 minutes. The closest equivalent to the high-definition video experience is the stretch printing process used by film preservationists when they restore silent films. The headache you get from watching that process is almost worth it when you're screening a rare treasure from 1903. But even if you weren't bombarded by Julia and Julia‘s excruciating aesthetic problems, you still would be stuck with director Peter Del Monte's loco script. Julia and Julia is about a woman (Kathleen Turner) on her honeymoon with her husband (Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, with an all-purpose Spanish-Italian accent), whose car explodes after she's made her narrow escape. Widowed, she leads a solitary life as a travel agent in Trieste, Italy, until she drives through a tunnel one night and enters a time warp. Maybe her husband Paolo wasn't killed. Maybe she's really been married to him all those years, and maybe they even have a little boy named Marco (Alexander Van Wyk, who spends more time in bed than most of the grown-ups do). Wouldn't that be nice? But wait. There's a snag. What is Julia going to do about her lover Daniel, deftly played by Sting? In a mysterious shift back to her former life, Julia sells Sting a ticket to Dubrovnik. A flight to Dubrovnik would write him out of the script too easily, though. What's a poor traveler in a time warp to do? Have no fear, “Life is wonderful,” as a blissful Julia informs us before film's end. AKA: Guilia e Guilia. woof!

1987 (R) 98m/C IT Kathleen Turner, Sting, Gabriel Byrne, Gabriele Ferzetti, Angela Goodwin, Alexander Van Wyk; D: Peter Del Monte; W: Peter Del Monte; C: Giuseppe Rotunno; M: Maurice Jarre. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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