Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

22 November 2004

Poor Eve

This evening I saw Being Julia. Granted, it has an awful title, but this movie is fucking funny. Annette Bening will almost certainly be nominated for Best Actress come January, and she might win if the wind blows her way. Her performance in this film is masterful: an amazing work of fiction.

The movie itself has a few problems: it loses track midway and goes off on a few tangents it doesn't need, but it all comes together in the end. This is an understatement. The climactic scene in Act III is absolutely brilliant. It is a scene of comedic genius, fantastic storytelling and hilariously fine work by Miss Bening. This scene pays off so well that I don't think I could possibly oversell it. I doubt it would have been better if it had been penned by Mr. Wilde himself. It's hilarious.

This film is most effective for theatre people, I think, and gay men in particular. If you are a diva, this is your film. It celebrates divahood unabashedly. Being Julia is All About Eve if Bette Davis had been able to stick it to Anne Baxter and twist the knife, and this is finally what pays off about the film. I don't want to ruin it, so I won't say more, but I thought this film succeeded wonderfully.