Archives A - E      F - N    O - Z     Posters          Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

      BLU-RAY DVDs:
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
The Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Dark Knight Trilogy
Happy Feet Two
Tower Heist
Angels and Demons
The Rum Diary
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

Labelled with ICRA
We're Kidlet Safe

movie review query engine

Privacy Policy

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE


Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles


CrankyCritic® movie reviews:

Miss Julie

Starring Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Screenplay by Helen Cooper
Adapted from the play by August Strindberg
Directed by Mike Figgis
website: www.mgm.com/missjulie

IN SHORT: For the arthouse. [Rated [R] ]

One of the reasons August Strindberg's play "Miss Julie" is studied at the collegiate level is that, depending on what you bring into your experience of the play, everyone who sees/reads it comes away with a different reaction. Cranky can't say the same for Mike Figgis' film based on Helen Cooper's adaptation of the play, which is going to be difficult even for those who frequent the arthouses where Miss Julie will find its market. That's no diss on the workmanship of the film; "Miss Julie," in general, is a very difficult play to sit through and its last act, which I won't spill, is particularly unpleasant.

Without making further reference to the Source Material, Miss Julie is a three character play which, at its most basic, is a story of class conflict and manipulation hidden under a dusting of the old standard "while the cat's away..." The Cat, in this case, is the never-seen "The Count," head of the household and father of Miss Julie. The Count has gone off to spend midsummer's evening with his uppercrust friends, leaving Julie (Saffron Burrows) behind to party with the servants. Julie is depressed after a broken engagement, probably to the son of one of the elite whom The Count is partying with. Julie's almost singleminded attention to the Footman, Jean (Peter Mullan) makes his almost fiancee, Christine (Maria Doyle Kennedy) the cook, unhappy. Christine is too exhausted to party. Jean considers himself a level above the common servants and avoids the party, which leaves Miss Julie free reign as Mistress of the House when she finds herself alone (Christine sleeps through much of the story) in the kitchen with Jean.

It's important to know that the setting is 1894, in a time and place where a definite line between "the gentry and the rabble," as the play puts it, exists. That line was not to be crossed, ever -- a dog could sit on the Master's couch, but a servant? Never. Likewise, it would be inappropriate for a servant, say Jean, and a Mistress, say Julie, to be seen together. Which is why the pair end up hiding from the other, drunken, partying servants which leads to the kind of liaison that isn't supposed to happen. It also leads to contemplation of a radical plan to flee the confines of class and place, head for Switzerland and establish a hotel -- Jean's dream -- the ultimate goal being the purchase of a title from someplace "in the East."

It's a fascinating battle of the sexes -- Julie has dominance because of her class; Jean has control because of Julie's weakness for men (this, after being raised by a proto-feminist mom); Christine has power over both of them, for reasons that would tip the story scales if I told. That being said, Miss Julie is a damned difficult piece to get through. Figgis decided not to "open up" the play, and to film it on one set as it would be staged for the theater. Using hand held cameras, his preferred style, the shoot is very close and very centered -- it looks like it's been shot for television, which may have been an economic choice, despite the liberal sprinkling of four letter words in Cooper's script.

Intellectually, Miss Julie is a darn good play. Emotionally, we (Americans) are so distant from this kind of class structure -- nothing we have even comes close -- that there is very little here to help us make any kind of connection. As I said up top, what you bring in will affect what you take home.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Miss Julie, he would have paid...


Rent it as cheaply as possible. If you like, you'll have found a bargain. If not, you won't have lost much from the wallet.

Click to buy films by Mike Figgis
Click to buy films starring Saffron Burrows
Click to buy films starring Peter Mullan

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995  -  2013 by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.