In “Miss Julie,” Colin Farrell stars as a lowly valet who falls for the baron’s daughter (Jessica Chastain) one long, drunken midsummer’s night. This sprawling Victorian adaptation of August Strindberg’s 1888 play mostly concerns the verbal dueling of a man and woman from different classes who feel drawn to each other and escalate their relationship beyond repair.
Along the way, short trips into the massive estate’s gardens and tunnels offer director Liv Ullmann (famed for her many collaborations with Ingmar Bergman) opportunities to embrace the cinematic medium, but for the most part this version of “Miss Julie” remains true to the stage with a mostly static, panning camera covering long stretches of dialogue. The lead performances, while fiercely committed, lack subtlety, but the film’s costumes and sets make it a must-see adaptation for theater and period piece enthusiasts.
7 out of 10 pointsReturn to CIFF 2014 Coverage
2 hr. 10 min.
Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton