After a successful debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, actress and screenwriter Liv Ullmann's exquisite film adaptation of August Stringberg's Miss Julie opens in Canadian theatres beginning March 13, 2015. Ullmann's production transplants the famous drama from Sweden to a majestic country estate in Ireland in the 1800s, where Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) and her father's valet John (Colin Farrell) seduce and betray each other over the course of a midsummer's evening.

In Strindberg's play the action is set entirely in the kitchen, but Ullmann's film explores the natural world outside of the house, opening with a scene from Julie's lonely childhood as the only daughter of a wealthy Baron. Despite her idyllic pastoral surroundings, the young Julie (played by Nora McMenamy) is isolated in her priviledge, and mourns the absence of her late mother. Fast forward several years later, and we meet the grown-up Julie, a confused woman desperate to win the affection of her servant, John. Strong-willed from the outset, the entitled Julie orders John to drink and dance with her, insisting that they forget about rank. But when John refuses, Julie quickly plays the authority card, "Toast me," she says, "... kiss my shoe, get it just right."

After much persuasion, John finally reveals that he has been watching her from afar since they were both children. As the night wears on, they both get drunk and consummate their passion while Kathleen the cook (Samantha Morton), who is apparently engaged to John, pretends to sleep upstairs. What ensues is a Darwinian battle of the sexes, a class war with Miss Julie representing the old, dying aristocratic breed, and John representing the more adaptable, social climbing working class. After Julie has "fallen," John's resentment of her position becomes painfully clear, and she is disgraced. Theirs is a waltz both tender and tumultuous, with tragic consequences.

Ullmann's choice to only feature the three leads (there are no extras at all in the film) makes for an intimate and intense viewing experience. There is no escaping the emotion of the text here. The only other character outside of Julie, John and Kathleen is the Baron, who is never seen, but his boots and gloves remain as a contant reminder of his power over the household. Both Chastain and Farrell's performances are outstanding in this film, not to mention Morton's understated, morally upright portrayal of Kathleen.

Featuring a haunting score that includes pieces by Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Bach performed by Arve Tellefsen, Truls Mørk and Håvard Gimse, Ullmann's adaptation is as aurally captivating as it is visually appealing. The picture was filmed at Castle Coole in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and in Florence Court Forest Park, Northern Ireland.

Don't miss this moving treatment of a 19th century masterpiece.