Before the film Juliet, Naked, the following trailers were shown:
- Colette, starring Keira Knightly, about writer Colette’s struggles to express herself as a writer in her own name, after her husband achieves success with the novels she ghost writes for him.
- Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning, about what inspired Shelley to write Frankenstein, including a battle against the men who tried to take credit for it.
- The Wife, starting Glenn Close, about a woman who gave up on her own ambitions to support her husband’s literary efforts, and what that cost her.
Wow. Can’t imagine why there are so many movies about women’s anger and their fight for self-expression right now.
#BelieveWomen #MeToo #StopKavanaugh
Juliet, Naked is a lighter film—but still the story of a woman. Annie (played by Rose Byrne) is dissatisfied with her life: the job she settled into in the town she grew up in, and especially, her long-term relationship with live-in boyfriend Duncan (played by Chris O’Dowd). Duncan has an obsession with an 1990s singer who released a single album: Tucker Crowe. Even before he has an actual affair, Annie feels she’s lost him to someone else.
Juliet, Naked refers to a demo CD that Duncan gets his hands on, featuring early versions of the songs on Tucker Crowe’s album. Annie writes a dissenting review of the album that attracts Crowe’s attention, and they begin an online correspondence. They finally meet when Crowe has business in London…
This was a perfectly delightful movie, largely because of the cast. Tucker Crowe’s kind of a wreck of man, but Ethan Hawke plays him with just the right amount of messy charm. He has very good chemistry with Rose Byrne. And Chris O’Dowd can’t help but be funny and somewhat likable as Duncan, which is important—you can understand why Annie might have fallen for him in the first place.
And the synopsis might make it sound as though Annie is “saved” by Tucker, but that’s not really how this goes. The impediments to their living happily ever after, often so contrived in romantic comedies, are pretty straightforward in this one: the continent between them, the very different places they are at in their lives. Really, Annie saves herself.
This is hardly a vital film you must see to understand the current state of our culture. It’s an enjoyable escape that you don’t need to feel guilty about. And it has a pretty good soundtrack.