Saturday, April 16, 2016

Miss Julie (1951)

Cannes Film Festival 1951

Grand Prize of the Festival
Alf Sjöberg
Tied with Miracle in Milan (1951).

Janus Films
Directed by Alf Sjöberg
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
(DVD, Criterion Collection)

The wealthy daughter of a country patriarch flirts with a servant during an all-night Midsummer celebration in Sweden. Their backstory is told through long flashbacks: her privileged life in the big mansion and his as the son of a servant living in a small house in the field. Her mother suffers from mental illness which threatens to consume her childhood and now haunts her adult life as she struggles with thoughts of suicide. His childhood crush on her lingers into their present life, though he is supposedly engaged to another housemaid. Beautiful photography by Göran Strindberg overcomes staginess and neurotic, unsympathetic characters.

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