Dating nineteenth century
Based on the 1888 play of the same name, the movie follows Julie, the daughter of a wealthy Baron, as she tries to seduce her father’s Valet, John.
It isn’t a romance story – Julie and John don’t love each other.
In fact, they kind of hate each other, but they’re two people who happen to be in close proximity, and they’re bored.
Because it’s based on a one-room play, most of the action consists of watching two people argue with each other long past the point when most of us would walk away, and the drama consists mostly of trying to figure out which of them is The Worst.
John’s happy he wrecked her life and crows over the fact that she’s now just as gross as him.
With the class barrier gone, he now has more power because of his gender, and he slut-shames her for, like, an hour in the middle of the movie.
It’s also not surprising that Chastain had a tough time with the idea that Julie kills herself because John tells her to.
In the third stage, John starts to look like a douchebag.
He lies to and manipulates the kitchen maid he’s dating, and turns on Julie as soon as he has enough power to do so.
As Julie starts to get more panicked about what she’s done and what’s going to happen to her when everyone finds out, John tries to convince her that the only way to salvage the situation is to steal her father’s money and run away with him, so that he can start the business he’s always dreamed of.
After a lot of coaxing, Julie goes along with this plan, but John changes his mind again.
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In the final and shortest stage of the movie, the sun starts to rise and John sobers up and realizes that he’s been too ambitious for his own good.