At a quiet Irish manor circa 1890, the baron's daughter (Jessica Chastain) torments her father's valet (Colin Farrell) and cook (Samantha Morton) until they find a way to turn the tables.
August Strindberg's scathing examination of sexual and class politics gets a respectful screen treatment in the hands of Swedish legend Liv Ullmann.
If you're only familiar with Mike Figgis's 1999 adaptation, shot with
handheld cameras that seemed to dodge back and forth as Saffron Burrows
and Peter Mullan's Julie and Jean rushed to and from one another, this
version might seem a little staid.
Ullmann doesn't really liberate the text from its stage origins, and
the melodies of her classical soundtrack occasionally conflict with the
taut, intense emotions on the screen.
But none of that matters when Chastain is in the frame. Initially
playing Miss Julie as an impetuous, imperious presence, she cracks that
facade wide open to reveal the twisting mess of misery, guilt and shame
Farrell and Morton are solid, but Chastain's sensational - and Ullmann is canny enough to simply let her rip.