Julia (2008 film)

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Julia Poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byErick Zonca
Produced byBertrand Faivre
François Marquis
Written byMichael Collins
Camille Natta (adaptation)
Erick Zonca (writer)
Aude Py
StarringTilda Swinton
Aidan Gould
Saul Rubinek
Kate del Castillo
Music byPollard Berrier
Darius Keeler
CinematographyYorick Le Saux
Edited byPhilippe Kotlarski
Distributed byStudio Canal (France)
Magnolia Pictures (US)
Release date
March 12, 2008 (2008-03-12)
Running time
144 minutes
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$1,327,897[2]

Julia is a 2008 French crime drama film, directed by Erick Zonca, starring Tilda Swinton. It was shot in California and Mexico. The film was inspired by the John Cassavetes film Gloria.[3]


In California, an alcoholic named Julia (Tilda Swinton) is out of control, partying every night, and waking up in unknown homes with no memory of the previous night. Her reckless behavior costs her her job and she begins to go broke. She soon meets a mother, Elena (Kate del Castillo), at an AA meeting. Elena takes Julia into her apartment after finding her passed out on the pavement one night. The following morning Elena explains that she wants to kidnap her son Tom (Aidan Gould) from his wealthy grandfather and asks Julia to participate for $50,000. Julia declines, but after some time changes her mind. She visits an old friend to ask for his cooperation, but her offer is refused. She rides to the Mexican border, kidnaps the little boy and blackmails Elena's father-in-law for $2 million. The police discover her whereabouts and she flees, accidentally crashing her car through the wall dividing the United States and Mexico. There, the boy is kidnapped in turn by Mexican kidnappers. Her friend Mitch (Saul Rubinek) arrives in Mexico and gives Julia the ransom money. During the exchange, the Mexican kidnappers escape with the money, leaving the boy safely with Julia.



The film premiered in February 2008 Berlin Film Festival and received very positive reviews in Germany as well as in other European countries. David Gordon Smith, writing for Der Spiegel, called it "one of the most stylish movies" in the competition and referred to Tilda Swinton as an "unforgettable leading lady."[4] Markus Zinsmaier, in Die Zeit, said the film was one of the highpoints of the festival and had high praise for Swinton.[5] Immediately after its success in Berlin, the movie was widely distributed in Germany.[6] The film was praised in the French press also and was called a "French film with English dialogue."[7] L'Humanité felt that the film ought to have won the competition[8] and that Swinton should have won for best actress.[9] The Dutch press praised the movie also. Kevin Toma of De Volkskrant called the movie "uncompromising," of "recalcitrant, dizzying beauty."[10] Another Dutch reviewer, Constant Hoogenbosch of Moviemachine was less positive, stating the movie was too long, but in the end was saved by Swinton's performance.[11]

A few U.S. reviewers disagreed with the generally positive European reviews. For example, Eddie Cockerell of Variety felt the scenes with Aidan Gould tied up and at gunpoint were "uncomfortably exploitative" and that Julia's redemption at the end of the film was "more convenient than emotionally earned," feeling that the film would not do well when brought to the U.S.[3]

During an Cinemacy interview with director Randy Moore and co-star Elena Schuber when promoting Escape from Tomorrow, the lead actor Roy Abramsohn chose selected Julia and Bernie as his favourite films during Ebertfest 2013, during his interview, in which Escape from Tomorrow also premiered.[12]


The film made its debut February 9, 2008 at the Berlin International Film Festival, and then was released for worldwide theatrical release: March 12, 2008 in France; May 7, 2008 in Belgium; June 19, 2008 in Germany; August 10, 2008 in India; August 14, 2008 in the Netherlands; August 21 in Kuwait. The film had a limited theatrical release in the United States on April 24, 2009 and was released on DVD on August 18, 2009.


  1. ^ "Box office / business for Julia (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  2. ^ "JULIA (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Cockrell, Eddie (February 9, 2008). "Berlin review of Julia". Variety. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  4. ^ Smith, David Gordon (February 13, 2008). "Indie Thriller at the Berlinale: Tilda Swinton Excels as Alcoholic Kidnapper in 'Julia". Der Spiegel. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Zinsmaier, Markus (February 14, 2008). "Eine Frau unter Einfluss". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Derks, Kai-Oliver (June 17, 2008). "Film Kritik: Julia: An die Grenzen und darüber hinaus". Monsters and Critics (in German). Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  7. ^ "La 58e Berlinale découvre Julia, film français aux dialogues 100% anglais" (in French). 7 Sur 7. February 9, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  8. ^ Roy, Jean (February 13, 2008). "Hommes et femmes face à leur conscience morale". L'Humanité (in French). Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Roy, Jean (February 20, 2008). "Fin de Berlinale avec ours mal léché". L'Humanité. Retrieved March 18, 2009.[dead link]‹See Tfd›(in French)
  10. ^ Toma, Kevin (2008-08-14). "Vastgeklonken aan randfiguur". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  11. ^ Hoogenbosch, Constant (August 5, 2008). "Rev. of Julia". Moviemachine (in Dutch). Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  12. ^ "CINEMACY TV: "Escape From Tomorrow" Interview". YouTube.

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