Being Julia

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Set in London in 1938, the film focuses on highly successful and extremely popular theatre actress Julia Lambert (Annette Bening), whose gradual disillusionment with her career as she approaches middle age has prompted her to ask her husband, stage director Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons), and his financial backer Dolly de Vries (Miriam Margolyes) to close her current production to allow her time to travel abroad. They persuade her to remain with the play throughout the summer; and Michael introduces her to Tom Fennel (Shaun Evans), an enterprising American, who confesses his deep appreciation of her work. Seeking the passion missing from her marriage, and anxious to fill the void left when her close friend Lord Charles (Bruce Greenwood) suggested they part ways to avoid scandalous gossip, Julia embarks on a passionate affair with the young man and begins to support him so he may enjoy the glamorous lifestyle to which she has introduced him. Their relationship revives her, sparking a distinct change in her personality. Always hovering in the background and offering counsel is the spirit of her mentor, Jimmie Langton (Michael Gambon), the theatrical manager who gave Julia her start and made her a star, while flesh-and-blood Evie (Juliet Stevenson) serves as her personal maid, dresser, and confidante.