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Recommend TIFF: Miss Julie or,Acting: The Movie!(Email)

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The 2014 edition of TIFF ends tonight and so will Nathaniel's review coverage with Still Alice.Wrap-ups and Oscar updates coming shortly thereafter.Now Liv Ullman's Miss Julie...

"Kiss my shoe!"Colin Farrell reenacts critical reaction to Chastain's debut film year

This review contains 126 year-old spoilers if you're not familiar with August Strindbergh's one act play,which has been adapted to film frequently.The play is about the bored,lonely,and loveless daughter of a Baron,Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) who enjoys toying with the servants,especially with John her father's valet (Colin Farrell).She flirts shamelessly even in front of his fiancé the cook (Samantha Morton) ordering him to perform sometimes demeaning and not very valet-like duties,like kissing her shoe or bringing her flowers.The story takes place in a single night in which the valet and the lady of the house will consummate their extremely uncomfortable and scandalous attraction with incredibly disastrous results...especially for Miss Julie.If 19th century Swedish country estates had been unionized John surely would have told her what wasn't in his job description.'Not that.Not that.Definitelynot that.You're playing with fire,Miss Julie!'

We understand Miss Julie's maddening hypocrisies straightaway as,when the story begins,she's already ordered the cook to feed her dog "Diana"an abortive dinner since the naughty girl has had sex with the gate keeper's mongrel dog.Foreshadowing 101 anyone?Diana is played by an adorable pug so we'll ignore,for Jess's dignity,that the play indicates that the dog ought to resemble Miss Julie!The pug laps down the meal hungrily and then proceeds to whimper through the entire first scene.This too proves foreshadowing,as yours truly began to do the same.If only Samantha Morton could have scoopedmeup,as she mercifully does with the confused pup,to carry me out of the screening room!

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