Miss Julie review

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In Time Code, Mike Figgis pushed the boundaries of modern cinema with a split screen movie shot on digital video in four single takes. Strange, then, that the weakest aspect of his next release, Miss Julie, is its claim to be a piece of cinema.

This adaptation of Swedish playwright August Strindberg's harsh study of class and gender power games has two things going for it: Helen Cooper's superb translation of the play (which keeps the themes bitingly relevant) and Peter Mullan's performance as an ambitious manservant. Mullan, star of My Name Is Joe, is mesmerising as he swings from devilishly sexy passion to bitter anger and arrogance in his pursuit of his master's daughter (Saffron Burrows).

Figgis uses of a pair of handheld cameras to get close into the actors' personal space, a technique that successfully amplifies the intensity of the play. But, with only one extended set, three speaking parts and some shoddy framing, it can only be said that this is great theatre, but unremarkable cinema.

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