Julia, Erick Zonca (2008)

I would wager that a lot of Europeans think this sort of thing happens in the USA all the time.

Who knows, maybe it does.

This is an update of Cassavettes’ Gloria, but the madness here is less about nuance and more about flat-out intensity. Swinton goes completely Oscar-snippet batshit in almost every scene. It must have been exhausting for her; it’s exhausting just to watch. Still, it’s gripping, at least until the final half hour, where Zonca suddenly and inexplicably gets bogged down in what seems to be some sense of responsibility to honor the ridiculously complicated sets of double- and triple-crosses the plot has imposed upon him. Unusual for a Frenchman to fall under the misapprehension that plot matters more than character. 

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