Caught up with this one recently, and figured I had to throw up a brief review before getting around to my Best Actress nominees (Swinton will be there).
Julia may not be at the very pinnacle of independent film-making, but it shows us an interesting interpretation of the captor/captive relationship, and it succeeds mostly due to Tilda Swinton's outstanding performance as a desperate alcoholic who resorts to kidnapping a boy for ransom money. Her addiction is brilliantly realized by her agitated line delivery, indicating her loneliness and need for something to love. As she gradually grows attached to the boy, her antsy-ness subsides, only to reemerge when she loses him. It is an awards-worthy performance that has sadly found no traction due to the relative tininess of the film and its small release (No Oscar for you!). The movie itself has imperfections; it runs too long and it the flow is not always smooth, but Swinton makes it much more compelling than it might otherwise have been. Bonus points for nailing that American accent.
**1/2 out of ****