Julie Grigio

Last weekend I had the opportunity to watch two awesome movies. First, World War Z, the tale of a zombie apocalypse gone wild, and second, Warm Bodies, Romeo and Juliet with a zombie twist. Both movies have captured my imagination. Both movies have brought me countless hours of enjoyment. What I’d like to talk about for this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday though, is Julie Grigio, Warm Bodies’ heroine extraordinaire.

Teresa Palmer is Julie in Warm Bodies
Teresa Palmer is Julie in Warm Bodies

Played by Teresa Palmer, a native South Australian actress who in a short time has amassed an impressive list of movie credits to her name, Julie is the daughter of General Grigio (John Malkovich), a pragmatic man whose heart had died a long time ago when his wife gave herself to the zombies.

Julie’s headstrong nature couldn’t prevent her father from sending her and her boyfriend Perry on a mission outside the fortified walls of safety to gather medical supplies. When their team meets with the sudden appearance of a zombie hunting party, Julie realizes their chances of survival are dismal. In the close confines of a small room, a battle ensues with the humans attempting to eradicate anything resembling the undead. Their efforts fail and Julie’s boyfriend dies by the hands of a resilient zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult).

Now R isn’t an ordinary zombie. R thinks, reasons, and wonders about things that other zombies show no interest in pursuing. When R sees Julie in a blaze of gunfire all around him, he doesn’t see a possible meal, but a girl with a fire in her heart and a strength in her resolve. He spreads dead blood on her to protect her from the other zombies in his party, then he escorts her to his home—an abandoned plane in an airport overrun by the undead.

This is where the story shows its charm. Julie’s only concern consists of escape. While R, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to show hospitality to his guest. Through a series of mutual experiences, they form a bond. Although hardened, Julie’s fire burns within her spreading to R, slowly giving him human life. They share the same music, a few laughs, and R even gives her food to replenish her mortal existence.

Unbeknownst to R, his life flourishing from within his heart is love. And why not? Love should conquer all—including death.

Even though Julie escapes from R, she also realizes something has happened to her she wouldn’t have had to worry about several days earlier. Her tough shell she carries around to protect her from getting hurt begins to crumble. The fire deep within her begins to grow. Not because of anger for the death of her boyfriend, who R admits killing, but for the mystery surrounding her feelings for R. She doesn’t understand it and talks to her best friend Nora about it:

Julie: I actually miss him.
Nora: You… you miss… him…
Julie: I know, I’m so stupid.
Nora: Like… like you’re attracted to him…
Julie: No, I don’t…
Nora: Like… he could be your boyfriend? Your zombie… zombie boyfriend?
[pause]
Nora: I mean, I know it’s really hard to meet guys right now, with the apocalypse and stuff. Trust me. And like I know that you miss Perry. But Julie, this is just weird. Like, I wish the internet was still working so I could just look up what whatever it is that’s wrong with you.

R and Julie
R and Julie

In truth, there’s nothing wrong with Julie. In some weird and fathomable way, she finds a connection with R she’d soon rather not talk about but feels hard-pressed to question. After all, how can a dead guy spark such profound love in her to shake her from her very foundation? It goes against everything she believes in.

Unless…

…everything she believes in is wrong.

Perhaps R is telling the truth. Perhaps R is becoming more human as the love they have for each other grows. And the last one—perhaps Julie’s sadness is because she needs R in her life more than she knows. In spite of the problems, she was happy with him.

I can’t continue without revealing big plot spoilers, but believe me when I say Julie is a tough girl who deserves every accolade for what she’s been through with R.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Does love conquer all? How can two very different people reconcile their differences to make a life with each other?

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19 thoughts on “Julie Grigio

  1. I absolutely loved Warm Bodies! Such a great twist on Romeo & Juliet and a Zombie flick (a personal favorite in genres for me). It was very well done and had me laughing for most of the movie.

  2. I’m not a particularly emphatic zombie fan, but your description of Warm Bodies sounds interesting. I zombie with a twist, I like it. I think Walking Dead really nailed it when they showed the moral dilemma in regards to the zombie apocalypse. Is it right to kill someone you love who has been turned, or is it wrong because it’s technically still your loved one. It’s almost a spiritual warfare in a way. Thanks Jack for the suggestion.

    Best regards,
    Spencer D.

  3. I loved her, and I loved her relationship with R – it was definitely odd, but lovely. I also loved Nora – she was hilarious! I think love can conquer all, but both parties have to want it to in order for it to really work!

  4. I haven’t seen Warm Bodies yet, but it’s on my list. Thanks for the info! As always, your posts are informative and insightful. 🙂 Best to you!

  5. I love Nicolas Hoult. He’s the little dude from “About A Boy” !!! I love that little dude !!! And he grew up to be so … undead, lol. Will be adding this one to my list for sure.

  6. On Monday, you wrote about World War Z and I was in the middle of watching it. Today you write about Warm Bodies and I’m in the middle of watching that! Great minds…

    I love Julie’s optimism. That’s something highlighted in the movie that is also vital in the book. Nothing puts out the flame of hope within her–not her mother’s death, not Perry’s death, not her father’s dogmatism. She knew that the important things are the small ones–the traditions that make us human, the chief of these being love.

    • Yes, great minds, always!

      The light of hope is an integral part of who Julie is, and I admire her for it. That optimism carries her through all those ordeals, including igniting that fire within R. What I admire most about her though is how she doesn’t wine or falls into a self-absorbed world where everyone has to cater to her whims (if that makes sense?). She sees a problem, she fixes it.

      And yes, who can forget about love?

  7. Hi Jack

    I can’t say I was overly impressed with Warm Bodies to be honest. It might just be my particular taste in films, but it wasn’t quirky enough for me. I wanted it to be closer in tone to ‘Fido’ I think. And is it just me, or did Teresa Palmer share a slight resemblance to Kristen Stewart?!

  8. I keep meaning to see Warm Bodies because I heard it was good. I think the different people falling in love is a classic of storytelling. Movie-wise I’m thinking of ’10 Things I Hate About You’ and ‘Romancing the Stone’. Odd combo, but the leads were nearly polar opposite characters that fell in love through mutual experiences.

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