It’s been a long wind-up for Miss Julie, the latest interpretation of August Strindberg‘s seminal play and the newest film from writer-director Liv Ullmann. Let’s hope it hasn’t been for naught. Following two promising international trailers and a good pair of clips, our review out of TIFF was truly deadening; according to that summation, Bergman‘s old favorite has “[transformed] a delicate power play into an overheated shouting match.” But it also wastes the talents of Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton? How?

Only on the occasion of its limited release — just a few weeks away, thankfully — will I be able to decide for myself. Although I’m still of the mind that it looks awfully promising, we know how deceitful a well-cut preview can prove. But if the material made available thus far has spoken to me in a way that extends past flashy, trailer-ready bits, there is hope, and I’ll maintain it however long is even necessary.

Watch the trailer below (via Vanity Fair):


Taking place at a large country estate in Britain over the course of one 1880s midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal, flirtatious power struggle between Julie and John – a young aristocratic woman and her father’s valet.

She is all hauteur longing for abasement; he, polished but coarse. The two of them held together by mutual loathing and attraction. At turns seductive and tender, savage and bullying, their story builds inevitably to a mad, impulsive tryst. Plans are made in desperation, a vision of a life together – unsure if the morning light then brings hope or hopelessness, Julie and John find their escape in an act that is as sublime and horrific as anything in Greek tragedy.

Liv Ullman’s Miss Julie will skillfully weave this great original story of the battle between the sexes and the classes.

Miss Julie will enter a limited U.S. release on December 5.

Have you been anticipating Ullmann’s new effort?

No more articles