Cinema: A Convoluted Memoir of the '30s

JULIA. Directed by Fred Zinnemann. Screenplay by Alvin Sargent

On paper, Julia sounds like an exemplary American film. In sharp contrast to most current big-budget movies, it trades in serious ideas rather than comic-book fantasies, and it even has the guts to buck Hollywood's longstanding embargo on heroines by starring two strong, intelligent women who care about other things than men. Since they are played by Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, it's hard to imagine how Julia could fail —but fail, to a sad extent, it does. For all the taste, talent and money that have been lavished on this film, it...

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