Jules Dir: Marc Turtletaub (Film Review)

With films in cinemas about A-bombs, talking dolls and aliens in the desert, Jules may be the strangest movie you’ll see this year.

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, Zoe Winters, Harriet Sansom Harris

There is flying saucer but Jules is not set anywhere near Roswell. Instead we are in semi-rural Western Pennsylvania where we meet Milton Robinson, a very average guy in his late 70s, played by the always wonderful Ben Kingsley. Fans of Gandhi or Sexy Beast may not recognize Kingsley’s Milton with his hairpiece and glasses, but he fits snugly into the role.

JulesMilton is starting to display signs of dementia , much to the concern of his daughter Denise (Zoe Winters) and his neighbours and friends…we see Milton saddling up to a microphone at a city council meeting complaining about a dangerous intersection and changing the town’s slogan, only to make the exact same speech the following week.

It’s during the town meetings that we meet two women who eventually befriend Milton…Sandy and Joyce, played by Harriet Sansom Harris (Tony Award Winner) and Jane Curtin (SNL/Kate & Allie) who mean well, but aren’t getting any younger themselves.

We cut to Milton in bed, it’s late and he hears a crash. Peering out the window, it’s not an auto accident, but rather a flying saucer that has crashed onto his yard.  Milton calls 911 but gets no joy as they consider his a prank call.

He goes back to sleep and when he wakes up in the morning, the spacecraft is still there.

Milton takes it all in stride…he seems strangely calm…and goes about his business. When he nonchalantly tells someone in town about the flying saucer in his yard he is, of course, dismissed as a just an old guy, losing his marbles.

Things get more interesting, and weirder, when an alien being emerges from the saucer and Milton takes it in, nursing it back to health with a steady diet of apples.

Eventually Sandy and Joyce are privy to Milton’s secret and the four become friends, of sorts, with the diminutive alien communicating only via its expressive eyes and drawings on cats.


It is a strange film, but it is also quite charming and thought-provoking.

A week after seeing a preview screening, I find myself telling friends about this eccentric little film and now you can see it for yourself.

It’s not a perfect movie, but it is unique and…weird.

Marty Duda

Jules opens in cinemas today.