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Petulia back to product details

As Fractured as Its Heroine
written by talltale July 27, 2006 - 9:58 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
An artifact of the transitional 1960s, PETULIA is as fractured as its time period, its story-telling and its title character--played gracefully and honestly by the great Julie Christie, who helps turn what could be just a kook into a very real, very sad young woman. Director Richard Lester doesn't just fracture the time frame, he splinters the story and even the emotions you start to feel. All this lends the movie and its after-effect a kind of distance and chilliness that offer both dividends and drawbacks. Finally, the film seems most about our inability to connect, so perhaps Lester's choices serve to register this in the most appropriate manner.

In any case, the performances of Christie, George C. Scott, Shirley Knight (just wonderful!), Richard Chamberlain, Joseph Cotten, Kathleen Widdoes and Arthur Hill hold it all together. An added perk to viewing this unusual movie again, so many years after it was made, is to see--popping up all over the place--performers for whom "Petulia" was their first film work (or very close to that): Look for everyone from Rene Auberjonois to the late (and still-mourned) Barbara Colby, Richard A. Dysart, Ellen Geer, Howard Hesseman, Austin Pendleton, Mel Stewart and even Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin! You won't soon again find a collection quite like this.


(Average 6.54)
24 Votes
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