A New Julia Stiles Movie Is Blowing Up On Netflix

By Michileen Martin | 4 months ago

julia stiles

How do you decide what resources go to whom, especially when your decision literally means someone else’s life or death? How do you play God without losing your soul? Those are the questions at play in the medical drama The God Committee starring Julia Stiles and Kelsey Grammer. The film is making a big splash on Netflix, currently at the #6 spot on the streaming service’s Top 10 list of films available in the US, sandwiched by Adam Sandler’s 2011 rom-com Just Go with It and Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film, 2017’s Phantom Thread.

When a teenage cyclist is killed during a hit-and-run, his heart is harvested but the patient it’s destined for dies before she can receive the organ. A viable heart isn’t something to be wasted, so the hospital’s transplant committee convenes to decide who the heart should go to. Along with Julia Stiles’ Dr. Jordan Taylor, Kelsey Grammer plays the well-respected Dr. Andre Boxer — with whom Taylor is having an affair. They’re joined by Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead) as the priest Father Dunbar, Jeneane Garofalo as the tough Dr. Valerie Gilroy, and Peter Kim (Hackers) as the conflicted Dr. Lau.

julia stiles the god committee

Of the three candidates Julia Stiles’ character and the rest of the committee has to fight over, all are deeply flawed. There’s the young cocaine addict whose wealthy father (Dan Hedaya, The Usual Suspects) is offering a hefty grant to the hospital if his son gets the heart. There’s a doorman suffering from bipolar disorder and obesity, with three daughters he supports. Then there’s a woman who lost her husband during the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but has been horrible to the hospital staff. The committee has only an hour to decide which of the three will get another chance at life.

The God Committee‘s recent success on Netflix isn’t representative of how the film did in theaters. Released in the summer of 2021, Julie Stiles’ medical drama took in a worldwide gross of $33,000. While there were likely a lot of factors leading to the film’s poor performance, the reviewers weren’t particularly fond of it. The God Committee has a 63% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus being that while the film has a good cast and a promising premise, both are wasted on overwhelming, uninspired melodrama. Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times writes that rather than examining the real life complexities of choosing transplant recipients, The God Committee “mostly illustrates the dangers of facile twists.” Martin Carr of Flickering Myth says that the film suffers from “film making by committee which demands a happy ending.”

kelsey grammer the god committee

Julia Stiles became a known quantity in an interesting way — appearing in modernized adaptations of William Shakespeare plays. Her first leading screen role was as Kat alongside Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the 1999 rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You, which was a contemporary adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. She was Ophelia in 2000’s Hamlet, which was set in modern day New York City and had Ethan Hawke in the lead role. A year later she appeared in O, a version of Othello set in an American high school.

The year after O, Julia Stiles originated what would prove to be one of her most visible roles –Treadstone operative Nicky Parsons in The Bourne Identity. She went on to reprise the role in 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, and 2016’s Jason Bourne. In 2006 she earned her first Primetime Emmy nomination for her part of Lumen Ann Pierce on Showtime’s unique crime drama Dexter. The series stars Michael C. Hall as the titular lead — a serial killer who limits his victims to other murderers. In season 5 of the series, Lumen is tortured and sexually assaulted by a group of men who Dexter helps her track down. Stile’s character leaves the series at the end of season 5, and remains one of the only characters who both knows Dexter’s secret and leaves the show alive.

If you’re curious about checking out The God Committee to see whether or not the critics are right, it’s currently streaming on Netflix. It was written and directed by Austin Stark (The Runner), based on the 2006 play of the same name by Mark St. Germain. It stars Julia Stiles, Kelsey Grammer, Colman Domingo, Janeane Garofalo, Dan Hedaya, and Peter Kim.