The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2088 Monday, 13 December 2004
From: Richard Burt <
Date: Friday, 10 Dec 2004 09:57:10 -0500
Subject: Being Julia
The tagline for the film Being Julia is "For the theatre's leading lady,
all the world's a stage." the same tagline appears in the trailer.
Haven't seen the film, so I don't know if Julia plays Shakespeare roles
or not. Haven't read the novel the film adapts either.
Film website at:
Julia (Annette Benning) has a poster with play title What Dreams May
Come in her dressing room, and there's a scene in which a younger
actress and romantic rival of Julia's does Viola's "willow cabin" speech
(or about the first five lines). She's asked to do it as if she had a
cold, for reasons that become apparent later.
I wouldn't say they are necessarily significant or intentional, but
there are some striking visual parallels to the Richard Loncraine
Richard III in which Benning played Queen Elizabeth. Being Julia is set
in 1938 London, and there are several scenes with a big band and crooner
(Loncraine 's RIchard III starts out with a big band and a woman singing
Marlowe's "Come Live with Me and Be my Love.")
Being Julia is directed by Istvan Svabo, who also made Mephisto, based
on the Klaus Mann novel about gay Nazi actor Gustave Grundgens. There
are three Hamlet scenes in that film. In Being Julia, there's a brief
scene with a busker parodying Neville Chamberlain.
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