Critic Reviews



Based on 6 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Fred Zinnemann’s superbly sensitive film explores the anti-Nazi awakening in the 1930s of writer Lillian Hellman via persecution of a childhood friend, portrayed in excellent characterization by Vanessa Redgrave in title role. Richard Roth’s production is handsome and tasteful.
Washington Post
Despite its gentility and evasiveness, Julia may have come much closer to the truth about Lillian Hellman on the strength of Jane Fonda's edgy, persuasive performance, which reveals an intelligent woman who couldn't feel more unsuree of herself or less like a conquering heroine.
Julia is the story of a fascinating woman, told from the point of view of someone who hardly knew her. That is, I realize, an unkind judgment against Lillian Hellman, whose wartime memoirs provide the inspiration for the story. But this movie's problems start with its point of view, and it never quite recovers from them.
The script, the direction and finally, Fonda's acting choices capture nothing of what made Hellman a true piss-and-vinegar original.
Mr. Sargent and Mr. Zinneman have amplified the story with solemn care, in good taste (which is not always desirable), and have come forth with a film that is both well-meaning and on the side of the angels but with the exception of a half-dozen scenes, lifeless.
Time Out London
Zinnemann blows it most of all in the Fonda-Redgrave relationship, and no credibility is given to Hellman's ferocious talent and dominant personality.

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