Miss Julie (2014)

Miss Julie
Director: Liv Ullmann
Writer: Liv Ullmann
Based on: August Strindberg‘s play
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Seen on: 1.1.2022

Content Note: dubious consent

Plot:
It’s midsummer night and Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) is alone at home. That is, her father the Baron is gone and most of the servants are at the festivities, but Jean (Colin Farrell) and Kathleen (Samantha Morton) have stayed behind. Jean and Kathleen are an item and they are rather disturbed by Julie’s presence in their kitchen. Jean, with the power of propriety, tries at first to push Julie away, but when Julie, with the power of her social position, pushes back, both of them get caught in a sexually charged power struggle.

Miss Julie is an intense film with extraordinary performances that fails to subvert its heteronormative perspective in the slightest, thus becoming too hopeless for its own good.

The film poster showing Jean (Colin Farrell) standing behind Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain).
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Vargtimmen [The Hour of the Wolf] (1968)

Vargtimmen
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Writer: Ingmar Bergman
Cast: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh

Plot:
Johan (Max von Sydow) and Alma (Liv Ullmann) had planned to have a nice vacation on a remote island where Johan would get to paint and they both got to get over a bit of a crisis before their baby is born. But it appears that their island is not quite as empty and calm as they both had expected. It becomes clear that Johan has some kind of breakdown. He keeps seeing strange people – he calls them demons. And then an old lady fitting Johan’s description of one of the demons comes to Alma and tells her to read Johan’s diary.

Vargtimmen is a moody film, full of atmosphere and interesting imagery, but rather low on plot. I enjoyed it, but I would have wished for a little more done with the demons.

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