Home » Jules

In a move that would never be confused with “ET” or “Cocoon”, but would constantly remind sci-fi nuts of both movies, the three senior citizens meet an alien in Jules who doesn’t stop them from thinking about it. The setting is Boonton, Pennsylvania – a place that is slightly rural enough to have an old-looking flying saucer that can crash in the backyard of Milton Robinson (Ben Kingsley), who lives on a small farm without being seen by anyone else in town. More than anything else, this film is unusual in its examination of 21st-century elderly Americans’ relative isolation at a time when technology is supposed to bring everyone closer together. These elements are more effectively demonstrated when they are directly explored rather than through science fiction metaphors.

Milton’s only regular contact is with his daughter, Denise, a veterinarian (played by Zoe Winters in HBO’s Succession) and the city council officials and other people he sees at the weekly meetings. We infer that he is widowed though the film does not go into this aspect of his life; there is another adult child apart from her and it happens to be his son who has not been talking to him for a long period due to their estrangement (apparently for which he failed as father). With Kingsley providing Milton’s accent perfectly and putting on carefully thought out facial expressions and body movements, as well as wearing glasses and what appears like Noam Chomsky’s hairpiece—he looks like one of those older men you might see around town all the time but ignore until you realize they’re no longer there.

Regular appearances before the city council make up some kind of existence for him as he keeps bringing up two things: changing the town slogan and adding crosswalks at one intersection. Unfortunately, Milton’s Alzheimer’s disease that sets in early threatens even this modest feeling of routine and we see how it begins during early stages of the story with the same two questions that he asks at every council meeting. 

Time, memory, past and regret about blunders are part of the story. That is until that flying saucer lands in Milton’s backyard and a grey alien named Jules appears—his eyes say more than words ever could—the film becomes concerned with when this visitor will be found out and how soon his relationships with Milton and other major characters end in some unconventional way.

This movie’s performances from Kingsley as well as the two other stars who are all over 70 years old-Harriet Sansom Harris and Jane Curtin(who play Sandy and Joyce) ground it. The same can be said about the specifics of their lives. For example, Sandy has a daughter who has a lesbian wedding (which she completely supports), but spends so much time trying to get her new mother-in-law to like her that she has not seen or spoken to her own mom for three years.

We don’t know much about Joyce until halfway through the film, when a few details emerge including that she refers to the happiest period of her life as the time she spent living in Pittsburgh. The story of young people going from small town to big city to find themselves and then returning to where they came from is one we all know well but which gets far less attention than it deserves given how many stories are written about those who never go back. (This is another great detail: even though Milton and Sandy call it a Jules while talking to their guest, Joyce argues that it looks more like a Gary and keeps insisting on using that name.)

All of it—written by Gavin Steckler and directed by Marc Turteltaub—is sensitive, intelligent, sweet, and acted with some integrity; even down to the direction is done where nothing unnecessary is shown. But then again it also seems like its fighting at times but losing control of TIFC (The Indie Film Cutes). Especially the pizzicato-heavy score composed by Oscar nominee Volker Bertelmann has an insurance policy feeling—it feels like something off a network TV show where there’s always supposed to be constant reassurances that these guys are gentle and kind-hearted if not unhappy loners in terms of behavior.

Maybe this could have been one of those movies with more impact on us if truly it distinctly called for being weird other than just normal or maybe if psychological realism was pushed harder into the frame-work. Specifically, there is an act of brutal violence towards the end of this movie which would scarcely happen outside a horror movie but still characters who were most affected seem unaffected by this occurrence- as if “Wow so we did not see that coming-just another development”. Moreover ,their conversations around her appear largely centered on their associations with her as a spectator or listener sometimes indicating interest in interaction without speaking while at other moments acting yet remaining silent.(Jade Quon’s entirely physical performance rounds out the main cast and is the film’s stealthy triumph: it’s not easy to keep an audience mesmerized when the role as written requires you not to interact with your scene partners in any of the usual ways.)

The beginning presents the daily life of an old man suffering from dementia who lives alone with a high degree of sensitivity and attentive detail such that it might inspire some viewer to think that there could be a realistic approach to making films solely on his condition – although admittedly it would have been even less likely to be made or seen by a large audience (unless it was called “The Father” starring Anthony Hopkins, which does exist). On the whole then, “Jules” has more of a not-yet feeling about it than anything else, like an untied sneaker that fits just right.

Watch free movies on Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top