as Phillys Mann in AFTERGLOW (1997)
Phyllis Mann and her husband Lucky are a married couple whose marriage has slowly skidded to a halt. There's still a glimmer of affection left between the two, but very little love and no passion. Phyllis is aware of Lucky's infidelity but isn't terribly concerned as long as he's not looking for anything more serious. The fragile link between Phyllis and Lucky begins to crack when Lucky is hired by Maxine Byron. Maxine desperately wants children, but her arrogant yuppie husband Jeffrey has no interest in starting a family.
"My soul needs a overhaul."
- Phyllis Mann
Julie Christie received her third Academy Award nomination for her performance as Phyllis Mann, a one-time horror film star, who spends her days alone, often lost in her memories as she watches her old films on television, while Lucky, her husband, works as a repairman and builder, often engaging in brief liaisons with the women he's working for. At first, we don’t understand Chritie’s character, and it takes a while to have so clues.
Thanks to Chritie’s aura, she has the ability to add to her character a lot of mystery and portrays someone very conflicted. She’s haunted and ravaged by something which occurred in her past, and she’s now in a kind of vegetative position. She is struggling, and she wants to feel something … despair, happiness, whatever she JUST wants to FEEL something, but we still don’t know why. We see that Julie christie tries to convince us, but the writting is so bad, she fails to transcend it. If the character would be better well-written, Christie would have shone, but she has nothing to do. Then, we learn that one day Phyllis told her husband that he was not the father of her daughter, then few weeks later they received a letter of the daughter in which she wrote that they both were not fit to be her parents and she will never want to see them again. But the explication comes too late in the film. The scene in which Julie Chritie tells this episode of her life is really flawless. We finally understand why her marriage falls apart and why she is struggling . She is really fantastic in that scene she is really full of emotion, she tries to use the right words – she’s painful and wonderful, but it’s too late.
[Julie Christie is certainly not helped by the film which is not great, or her partners who are really attrocious. Nick Nolte is just fine, Johnny Lee Miller just average but Lara Flynn Boyle is really bad.]
"Christie is a revelation, a lilting, charming schemer ... She alone is reason enough to see this flawed and haunting film."
- Philip Martin
Julie Christie does her best to bring some quality to this very bad written film. She is easily the standout of the film, and adds a bit of glamour and a lot of mystery, but the character is very limited, and doesn't allow her to show us all her charisma. Poor Julie Christie why did you accept this film ?