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  • weeelfie19 August 2008
    I could not like this film more. Yes, it's messy. Yes, it's extreme... but it is precisely for these reasons that I adore it. In this age of one slick, bland, impeccably crafted and neutered blockbuster suppository after the other and at a time when so-called independent films are so often just show reels for wanna-be future suppository crafters, this is a breath of pure, animalistic, delightfully anarchic, fresh air. It is truly cinematic, ambitious, original and brilliant. The dialogue is a bit weak in places and it feels like it was edited in a rush, but those are my only complaints. Swintons performance is full of fantasy and compassion and anyone who has ever spent time around hard-core drinkers will know that it is 100% realistic. The entire experience of watching this film is like a binge weekend for the viewer: All threads unravel, reason becomes skewed and when sobriety finally kicks in, you are left with nothing. I was swept along in a complete state of reverie and found myself breathless and wishing it could go on longer when it ended. The colourful mix of characters and landscapes are beautifully framed and lit. The whole thing is like a bizarre European fairytale of what America is like. Oscars for best Actress and cinematography please!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ............................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

    JULIA = A living-in-denial, acid-tongued, fortyish and usually sporting that "oh so disheveled buy me a few drinks and I'll go home with you but won't remember or care in the morning, total-lush" look; with serious stability/maturity issues. That, ladies and gentlemen, pretty much sums it up! Swinton carries the movie on her "more often than not slipping out of her dress" shoulders!

    JULIA will continue to ricochet around your brain, tumultuously, long after viewing. KUDOS to Ms. Swinton! After her Oscar winning role as the anal-retentive executive you love to hate in Michael Clayton, she seemed like a truly excellent actor. With this ground-breaking, Oscar-caliber performance, there can be no doubt her acting skills are nothing short of legendary! The only actor who could hold her own on camera w/Swinton was Kate del Castillo(Under the Same Moon), who turns in a brief, but incredibly intense performance as the disturbed biological mother.

    Remember how the Supreme Court used to define pornography? "Totally and utterly devoid of any redeeming social value"- What's mystical about Ms. Swinton's performance is that despite portraying a detestable and neurotically unpredictable adult, she manages to plant a seed of expectation/compassion in the viewer's mind. Throughout, there is a flicker of hope that, somehow, someway, things will manage to right themselves.

    **** Possible Very Minor SPOILER Ahead ****

    JULIA certainly pulls the proverbial rug out from under your feet on more than one occasion. My hands are tied when it comes to discussing the final minutes of the film. But you absolutely mustn't give up on JULIA beforehand. Please, be patient! Everything hinges on that final scene! Soon afterward, upon reflection, the real implications will remind you that things aren't always as they seem! Immediately after JULIA-6* was my rating. After my cerebral dust has settled, JULIA rates a rock-solid 8*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

    Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
  • Julia (2008)

    A hard edged tale of a woman pushed by her own desperation into crimes over her head. Tilda Swinton lets it rip here, in a vivid, color, cinema-verite style that depends as much on making you uneasy as anything. The characters are so believable, and the sequence of events stumbles along with such perfect inelegance (to say the least), you hate to see it all because what happens is pretty awful.

    The ground covered is a believable version of what an ordinary person with seemingly good moral structure is driven to by circumstance. In this case, it's about being pushed by her own sorry life to do something that breaks out of it. But it also begins as a curious compassion, a genuine skepticism overwhelmed by the possibilities. By thinking, why not? And of course, why not then becomes all too clear. It's this sense that it could by a stretch happen to you or me (hopefully not, but in theory) that gives the movie its chilling penetration.

    And the ending, as sensational as it gets, is a logical outcome of where we began, and there is a kind of victory, but it's no Hollywood ending, and that's a huge relief. Rather, it's as if you went along with a woman for the adventure of her life and it's the real thing, nothing held back, including disbelief, fear, violence, and sometimes, thankfully, a glimmer of hope. Very very well made--acting, writing, filming--but not everyone's cup of tea because it is so unsettling.
  • INTRO:

    One weekend, some weeks back I went to the movies with friends intending to watch 'Into the Wild'. But as things go in groups, somebody had already seen it and before I knew it plans were laid to watch a film about a girl who got gets pregnant – I protested (I hadn't even read the review on IMDb!!!) but I ended up watching it anyway – the result being 'Juno' just blew me away.. the story, the acting, the dialogs and of course – the soundtrack!

    Once again I was to go to the cinemas… this time I had no real choices - the other options were Jumper, 10000BC and Julia (I'd seen the other good flicks already). I knew from 'trusted sources' that Jumper sucked and 10000 BC didn't really meet our high standards ;) So it came down to Julia - I didn't know what to expect of this film.. THERE WAS NO REVIEW ON IMDb!!! BUT I got brave - maybe I'd learned a lesson after having ventured into the unknown with Juno – or maybe it was the 50% discount at the movies this weekend.. I watched Julia!

    The FILM:

    When I came out of the cinema I swore to myself that this would be my first movie review on IMDb – not so much for the sake of writing a review but for the fact that I'd hate to let a good film go un-noticed! And Julia is a good film, it's a very good film – for it kept me glued to the screen once I got 'into' the film – which happened about 20 minutes into the movie..

    Tilda Swinton played an award-winner of a role as the ever-cursing Julia Harris, who makes it a habit of waking up, unaware of where she's been sleeping. You know, the ease with which she plays an alcoholic totally convinced me that she did drink all that vodka during the making of the film. And unlike her other films, the camera does not show her in that special way that highlights her lovely eyes supported by those high, rounded cheekbones. But you will still fall in love with her – and you will also cut down on the alcohol and cigarettes and give up any ideas of easy ransom-money.

    From the kidnapper to the kid-napped Tom – played by the talented Aidan Gould starts off as a kid who is made to nap all the time, more to make it easy for Julia to manage him than to keep him from escaping. But after he has been shoved around a bit, Julia starts to learn how to handle the kid and keeps him awake a lot more, and you start to see some interaction between the two.

    Julia treats Tom as a mature individual and their conversations show that the kid does have some mature ideas in his head, probably only put there by his millionaire grandfather who is also his sole guardian - but he is quite smart for his age. He also starts to display a range of emotions, more than just fear or anger. You have to see the film to realize how delicate these are. My favorite though, was the look on his face when he wakes up next to a girl one morning – I wont tell you where or with whom or how, as that would be a 'spoiler' …literally!

    Well, these are the two main characters that really 'make' this film and around them you will find others playing short but not insignificant roles. I could go on to give you my observations of the characters and my guesses on their lifestyles and make psycho-social analyses. But those are the kind of reviews which restricted my imagination as I watched other films – they didn't help me so I figure it won't be good for you either my fellow movie-lover-speculator…

    To sum up, the film has a simple plot that unfolds with time, there aren't any super special effects, no fancy camera-work and despite all that, it still appeals to me – like many other simple films have. Normally I'd vote for a 7 on 10 for it being so smooth, but I left the cinema thinking about other probable outcomes, as I wasn't too happy about the way it ended… It was certainly possible, but I still wished it hadn't happened – but then I wonder how else would I have made the end to this film?? For having created this conflict in me, I'd like to give this film an 8 on 10.

    And for the doubtful ones out there, reading this review to make up your minds – I dedicate this, my first IMDb review to you – go for it, you won't regret it!
  • JULIA is one of those films that goes beyond being a story and production worth the viewers' attention: this is one of those experiences in observing the art of acting at its peak. Tilda Swinton who continues to explore roles that challenge her and her audience, roles that few other actresses would considering making let alone making, and in JULIA she covers a range of emotions and mutations of a character that simply leave the audience in complete awe of her talent. She is extraordinary!

    Julia is a bright but flawed person. She is an alcoholic who spends her nights drinking herself into oblivion only to wake up the next morning not recognizing her bed partner or the surroundings of her comatosed night of stupor. Swinton makes us understand this character's 'way with men' in her grossly revealing clothes and her flirtations backed by a mouth of filth. Julia loses her job over her drunken tardiness and has ruined a 'relationship' with ex-alcoholic Mitch (Saul Rubinek) and finally goes to an AA meeting where she meets Elena (Kate Del Castillo), a pathetic recovering alcoholic whose only goal in life is to retrieve her son Tom (Aidan Gould) from his wealthy disapproving grandfather. Julia is so desperate for money that she buys into a bizarre 'kidnapping' of Tom for Elena, a decision that triggers all of the rest of the film's journey through crime and sleaze as Julia fails at every effort to 'play the game' of criminal to make a fortune. Traveling from Los Angeles through the desert to Mexico, along the way Julia encounters 'co-facilitators' in her new life of crime - portrayed by such fine actors as Bruno Bichir (Demian Bichir's brother), a new and fine young actor Horacio Garcia Rojas, and Eugene Byrd to name only a few of the standout performances. Though a bit overlong at 2 1/2 hours, the script by Michael Collins and Camille Natta is spot on perfect and the direction by Erick Zonca makes the long film always richly colored and fascinating in attention to detail.

    But the real reason to watch this film in the astonishing, multifaceted performance by Tilda Swinton, surely one of the finest actresses before us today. Her Julia creates a new level of acting standard- even for Swinton!

    Grady Harp
  • I have been an admirer of Tilda Swinton,since I first saw her in some of Derek Jarman's films,and moving on to acting in some mighty toothsome film fare after Jarman's untimely death due to complications from AIDS. Not only can she take on some roles in what could be considered "difficult" films,but she can fake an American accent quite well. Erick Zonka ('The Dreamlife Of Angels',The Little Thief') directs & co writes the screenplay (with Aude Py)about a self destructive 40 something,full blown alcoholic party girl,named Julia who's party girl days should have been behind her years ago. When she is ordered to attend an AA meeting by one of her best friends (played by veteran Canadian actor,Saul Rubinek), she meets up with a psychologically disturbed woman named Elena (played to the max by Kate Del Castillo),who wants Julia to kidnap her eight year old son from her Grandfather. Julia,with nothing to lose (and equally nothing to gain)is at first reluctant to go along with this scheme,but eventually goes along for the ride. What transpires is a botched kidnapping that goes from bad to worse to truly unbearable. Toss in an unintended trip to Mexico,and watch the fire get turned up to full 10. Comparisons to John Cassavete's film, 'Gloria' will be noted. Rated 'R'by the MPAA,this film contains pervasive raunchy language (both in English & Spanish),adult content & nudity & graphic,bloody violence. Leave the kiddies home
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An outstanding film, Julia is full of improbable plot twists, failures, missteps, and desperation.

    Tilda Swinton stars as a woman at the end of her rope and probably, at the end of her life. Her despair and desperation in the throes of alcoholism are so real and so painful to watch. Julia is in pain from which she'll never recover, pain she's stopped trying to recover from because it's just too hard. Then Julia gets an offer she can't refuse. A sane, rational person would recognize the insanity and illogic from the beginning, but Julia is not sane or rational. And so the journey begins.

    Fantastic acting by the entire cast, and Tilda Swinton shines above them all. Gritty and realistic sets that reflect the characters in them to perfection. Relentless plot twists and turns that leave you wondering when Julia will take that final step of desperation. A slow blossoming of tenderness in a swamp of despair, an unexpected scene of real love where you thought love could never be, and then, you're thrown off the train at last.

    Highly recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is about an alcoholic woman's transformation during a wild road trip. While I found the first 20 minutes hard to get through, and almost stopped watching, I found the remainder of the movie mesmerizing. Tilda Swinton is beyond amazing. You can't take your eyes off her. And you can't wait to see what will happen next as she digs herself deeper and deeper into a mess.

    Having said all that, there were major gaps in the story line. For instance, she was out of money, which is why she tried to pull off this stunt, so where did she get all the money she used on the trip? Did I miss something? With Thelma and Louise, they robbed the convenience store to get money. Julia needed to do something like that to explain her funds.

    The beginning was especially awkward as a nutty woman from an AA meeting approached Julia with a scheme to kidnap the woman's son from a guardian and get ransom. That whole proposal happened too quickly and was jarring. Then, what happened to that woman during the story? We never found out.

    I'm surprised to find so many things wrong with the story line and yet still give his movie a high rating. Swinton is that good. If you can get through the first bit, and suspend disbelief a little more than normal regarding plot, watching this woman's journey from a boozy barfly into a compassionate being is well worth the trip.
  • "JULIA" is a rare example of a movie created IN English by a French director - and Erick Zonca is truly one of the finest directors around these days. He's only made 6 films and all of them have won or been nominated for major awards. Sadly overlooked by American audiences, "JULIA" is a beautifully crafted mystery-suspense drama that serves as a wonderful setting for the amazing Tilda Swinton to present one of the most resonant motion picture performances of recent years. It's an in-depth "lead" and, at the same time, "character" role and her performance is truly unforgettable. As we have come to expect from Mr. Zonca, this is a beautifully crafted yet spontaneous work. It is a living, breathing, thoughtful film experience that will stay with you for a long time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tilda Swinton has to be one of the most interesting actresses of her generation. When we first meet her here as Julia she is a cynical, down-and-out alcoholic whose life consists of getting drunk in a bar in the evenings and then sleeping with whomever she can attract for the night. But Julia realizes that her life is going nowhere and her desire for money leads her to misadventures, to understate the matter. We think that this is going to be a tale of redemption, and it does touch on how the relationship that develops between kidnapper and kidnapped changes Julia, but by the end, after murders, lies, kidnappings, double-crossings, and more drinking, it is hard to admire Julia too much when she displays a bit of compassion for the boy she in fact kidnapped.

    Swinton did not mail this one in--she goes at the role giving 100%. I just wish she had chosen to apply her considerable talent to material with a stronger message than, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" But, with such a blistering performance she creates a memorable character and I could only stand back in appreciation.

    The supporting cast is good, including the child actor Aiden Gould. The pacing kept my interest to the point where I didn't think about the major plot holes until after the movie was over.
  • kosmasp15 July 2008
    Not only Tilda S. for taking on this role, but especially her. She goes all out for this role and I'd even go so far saying, that her performance is worthy a "Daniel Day Lewis" award (that's a joke, but I hope you get my point).

    While I really loved her character at the beginning, it began to tumble and went kinda downwards from a certain point of the movie. Which all comes down to the really unlikeable "Julia" (main character). The problem is that not only couldn't I identify with her, from a certain point onwards I despise her. That also comes down to some of her choices, which I won't go into, because that would be spoiling the story.

    Apart from Tilda, you have a few other great actors in this too. But as good as they are, they never overshadow the failings of the main character. Of course this was meant to be that way, but I couldn't like the movie as much as I'd love to, just for this simple fact.
  • Awkward kidnapping thriller/actress vehicle for Tilda Swinton. I love Swinton as much as the next movie lover, and for a while I was thinking that, yes, this was her shining moment. But after a while, it all seemed like a little too much. She's done a ton of subtle work over the past two decades, and she's so in your face here it just doesn't feel like the same actress. That could be a compliment, but I found her work here so overwrought. One of the problems is that a lot of the dialogue is improvised (I'm guessing), and I don't think she acquitted herself well. The plot involves a hopeless alcoholic who gets involved in a kidnapping plot. The woman who asks her to help (Kate del Castillo, just awful) is also an alcoholic. Her son was taken from her by her dead husband's father. She claims to have money to pay Swinton in Mexico. Swinton sees it as the perfect opportunity for a double cross. Later, there'll be more double crosses, probably a triple cross, and eventually the kid gets kidnapped FROM Swinton by some Mexican gangsters. It's all very meandering, and the film runs a whopping two and a half hours (at 90 minutes, it could have been very good). It's not that it's a boring film, really, it's just kind of annoying and unfocused.
  • paul2001sw-14 December 2011
    Eric Zonca directed the sublime 'The Dream Life of Angels', a beautiful story of female friendship and existential despair. 'Julia', his first film for 9 years, is equally powerful, but much less charming. Tilda Swinton is great as Julia, but her character is absolutely unlikeable; the plot, meanwhile, though harrowing, in places strains credibility, especially in its portrait of Mexico as a literal hell on earth. Yet Zonca's talent is also on display, and the story commands your attention in spite of its unpleasantness. The ending is ambiguous, potentially interpretable as redemptive, but not clearly so. I'm not sure this is a great film; I am sure I want to see more from this director.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Elena, an AA regular, devises a wild scheme to abduct her estranged son, Tom, from his legal guardian, the boy's wealthy grandfather. While the plan is in progress, Elena's friend and accomplice Julia kidnaps Tom from his bodyguard to extort some money. The boy escapes, but Julia miraculously retrieves him from the salt flats of Southern California (or Arizona?). Mistaking a routine border patrol sweep for an LAPD manhunt, they accidentally cross into Baja California where the kid is promptly snatched by the Mexican mob. Sounds ludicrous? Totally. "Julia" is not a movie you will like for the plausibility of its plot. Its sole appeal is Tilda Swinton's amazing portrayal of a drunk, rising above the phlegm of intoxication to meet the challenges brought about by a near-nonsensical script. Although I liked the film, I think it's about an hour too long. The Tijuana episode is simply beyond belief.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are good qualities to this film, and from the standpoint of technical virtues it is arguably outstanding (filmography, music, acting, settings, costumes, film editing—to name a few). However, the humanistic dimension is deplorable, with bad behavior being exalted beyond belief and all seemingly free from any consequences—to the extent I felt evil was being promoted as the way to live. The very loud message of the film: go ahead and smoke, drink, sell your body, back up over someone standing behind your car, kidnap, steal cars, kill a man by shooting at his head at short range, leave a child with murderers, etc (this list is far from exhaustive). Do all this and be certain that because you finally demonstrate some modicum of regard for a boy and his mother, you will never be punished in any way. This film should be Exhibit A when arguments about the immorality of Hollywood are made.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Not everyone will want to see Julia. It's not a 'happy' picture, and its bleakness is compounded by an ending that is bittersweet only inasmuch that the main characters are (spoiler alert) still alive. And not too many people rush out to see a two hour and twenty minute movie with Tilda Swinton (albeit a recent well-deserved Oscar winner) playing an alcoholic floozy who takes a chance to make a lot of money by kidnapping a kid who at first she's getting done for the boy's mother, only to find herself in deeper trouble south of the border. But for those of us that would be interested in seeing another hard-hitting drama with Tilda Swinton in the lead (think back, for those who might remember, to the likes of The Deep End), it's a kind of intense bliss. It's also one of the more unusual kidnapper stories ever told, mayhap.

    In the movie Tilda Swinton is Julia, who is so bad at her alcoholism she shows up to an AA meeting only to leave a minute into it and stand in the lobby smoking cigarettes. She's lost her job, she has a wax-on-wax-off relationship with a former drunk (Saul Rubinek), and is listening with half-ears-open to an unstable Mexican woman who wants to see her son again. She tells Julia she can get rich, very rich, since the kid's grandfather has a lot of money with his company. So Julia, in her desperation and debts mounting, goes for the task and kidnaps the kid while out playing in the woods. She wears a black mask in front of the kid (looking, the Mexican mother comments, "like a demon"), but soon takes it off when trust is reached between them. She also isn't sure what to do, and by a kind of crazy twist of fate (i.e. driving maniacally through the desert to lose a helicopter following a bunch of illegals crossing the border), she winds up in Tijuana.

    This is already an hour and a half into the movie, and there's still plenty more to go here. I could spoil everything else that happens in the film, but it would spoil not so much the 'fun' but the harrowing irony that befalls Julia just on the tip of getting two million (suffice to say, think Man on Fire, only less Tony Scott and more... realistic). Yet Julia doesn't get bogged down in melodrama, and you don't even realize that much time has passed. It's a long movie, but you get wrapped up in Julia's struggle; she's an anti-hero in a definite term, and because she's played by Swinton as a strong and determined 'dame' with nothing to lose we stick with her wherever her story takes her.

    And while I would hope to give Swinton as much praise as possible, since it is such a brave performance that calls up all of her skills as an actress, foregoing any BS Hollywood star ego for down-and-dirty scenes in Tijuana and up against non-professional players in the Mexico locations, it's also Erick Zonca's movie. One may recall his achievement with The Dreamlife of Angels, about two young French women living in an apartment with various dramas, but this time with Julia he takes things into a kind of dark, naturalistic fable. He gives some moments for us to breathe in-between those tense scenes between Swinton and the boy, or in those later Mexico scenes, to really take in landscapes and the scenery, that desert Julia takes Tom to hide in, or the rough beauty of the streets of Tijuana, or even in that opening scene at the bar that sets up Julia as this unlikely protagonist.

    Zonca's made with Julia a morality play rich in thrills and poetic irony in the guise of a neo-noir, and cast it with an actress who won't make a character sympathetic for the sake of it but real enough for us to understand her every step of the way.
  • To some this film would be boring, long and drawn out. But to people who love film for what it should be for example plot, filming and acting this was a great film. The people who don't like it are Hollywood blockbuster, special effects junkies who wouldn't know a good film if they were in it..... what a shame!Tilda goes through the whole spectrum of emotions in this film quick changing from one emotion to the next. When a person takes on such a role as this, they have to enjoy what they do otherwise they would go insane. Oh and her American accent is flawless unlike other nameless actors. If you get the chance watch this film with an open mind and plenty of patience as it is a long film with many of the scenes nay almost all the scenes contain Tilda's magnificent performance!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Julia" starring Tilda Swinton has an excellent first 1/4 going for it. It was on par with Leaving Las Vegas which surely it draws some parallels to until (big spoiler) the whole kidnapping fiasco. For me at this point the film dives into main-stream shtick ceasing to carry the careful nuances of a character development into unfortunately a gimmicky, sometimes, violent, but clichéd chase film. At this point the movie pretty much lost me full force. There may be an original story director Erick Zonca is following, but as the director, was hoping he elected to keep the title character more static in an introspective investigation rather than a moving and jarring rush and hullabaloo. By the end of the movie, the thing has become a mess a distant whimper of how interesting it started out as.
  • doclee325 October 2010
    Just watched this film on TV and love it. Tilda Swinton's acting is extremely good here. Most actresses tend to over-act in such a role but Tilda's acting is just perfect. The story line is good, fast moving and interesting. Good directing also judging from the high acting standard as a whole here. Surprised that this movie did not win any other awards other than the British. The movie happened in United States and Mexico and good choice of filming sites. Only thing I can suggest is to have a more dynamic tittle for the film. I have not watched this film until now because I was not aware it was going to be such a nice thriller type of film.
  • Julia is a schizophrenic piece of filmmaking if ever there was one. It can't decide whether or not it's a serious drama or a dark comedy. Only a terrific performance by Tilda Swinton in the lead part and a couple of decent bit part performances by American and foreign actors are all that save this pathetic film from rating just one star instead of the three that I mercifully gave it. In fact, the performance by the actress that played the boy's mother bordered on a caricature. Oh sure, there were some decent scenes, but the time between them was filled with inane dialog and implausible plot faults. There were too many unexplained lapses in continuity, including an absurd sequence of events in the Southern California/Mexican desert. The story is so improbable as to be ridiculous and the script is uneven and fractured. I will admit that the cinematography is decent, as is the editing. But to rate this film any more than three stars would be to offer a disservice to those films that actually "earned" a rating that was higher than that. Except for Ms. Swinton's excellent performance as a disjointed, delusional, dysfunctional alcoholic, Julia was a complete waste of this viewer's time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie starts with an alcoholic,disturbed,presumable hooker middle aged hot woman Tilda Swinton,It's OK until then lol..

    After that she gets involved in kidnapping a supposedly son of a Mexican girl she knew in junkie meetings.. that's what kids like to call ''plot twist!''

    My problem with this... why the hell 2 hours long? OK the length is OK ...let's just say that,the movie keeps you hooked I admit it,but somehow it's flawed,terribly flawed.

    Why does she act like a criminal at first and then she's a caring mummy telling you to eat your vegetables?

    Besides,they didn't knew when to stop or how to stop. Maybe if they just sticked to the drama(she seems pretty disturbed at first,I mean,one does not simply ran out their cars on people) instead of (try to)show us up the bad side of Mexico in a overacted/unreal way.

    3 stars It starts well but then fails miserably in a strange way,love u Tilda Swinton anyway.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wish I could give it an F, as well.

    Tilda should not give up her day job with regard to American accents. Hers sucks. Totally lame. Then there's the film: stupid and predictable. Not hip. Not cool. Not edgy. Just Boring. Please don't waste any money like I did when I rented this OnDemand. It sucked. I had to force myself to watch it in its entirety.

    The whole plot line was disjointed. A big mess. None of the characters were at all interesting or sympathetic. The whole thing just reeked of "ooh, this is so hip, just like a Tarantino film. Julia's so cool. A beautiful loser."

    Zzzzzzzzzz. Snoozefest.
  • One thing I learned from this film: stay away from AA meetings or alcholics. Sorry, but this is an incredibility stupid and unbelievable film. Everyone associated with AA in the film is really twisted and sick,even the lone person that trys to disuade Julia from kidnapping isn't very forcefull. The crime is taken with as much seriousness as perhaps someone stealing a petty cash account from their job. The film may have worked if it took itself seriously as a character study of how dangerous an unrecovered alcoholic can be, but it elvolves into somekind of chase film that resembles the 1980 "Gloria", with "Gloria" being a far more pausable film. Also, in Gloria, the main character did not set out to commit any crime, the boy was thrust into her life. Oh, did I forget to mention how nicely Mexican people are portrayed in this film, they are either psychoic or ruthless criminals. Hard to believe in 2009, by a politically correct French filmmaker no less, could an entire counrty and people be treated so shabby. The writers and director should be ashamed of themselves.
  • PipAndSqueak21 December 2008
    I hated this film. There are many things wrong - all to do with poor establishment of point of view. Who the viewer is supposed to follow I really don't know. Tilda's character is well portrayed but that does not make up for an impossible plot. Where does a penniless alcoholic get ready cash from at the drop of a hat? How do you drive a car for hundreds of miles without getting petrol? If you're an addict of some kind, well, I supposed you might get something from this miserable, less than entertaining film. If not, don't bother. You'll just be made very unhappy and you won't learn anything. Mexico comes out very badly - yes, OK there is a problem with crime but for God's sake we don't need to see this sort of thing. It feels like a con, the characters are all conners and quite frankly you'd be wasting money going to see it.
  • dusan-2227 February 2010
    Solid movie. First of all, excellent acting of the female lead. I was impressed when read that the actress has never drunk a glass of liquor and we got to say that she was so convincing as alcoholic. Then, the movie itself deserves attention, it has solid dynamic plot and good story. What I don't like about this movie is passive camera that is following the heroine behind every corner through long shots as well as limited interaction with other characters. Also, I believe that ending supposed to be a little bit more sophisticated, refined in a film way. However, I do not agree that is unclear since we know all the time what is Julia's reason for kidnapping: she has no Acapulco or Swiss Bank plans, she does that to change her life. When she figured out that the kidnapped boy have already changed her life pretty much, he becomes more valuable reward.
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