Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia follows the true story to two women: Julia Child in France, 1949, and Julie Powell, who cooked and blogged her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 2002 from her apartment in Queens.  It is an interesting technique to put two memoirs into one film, but it works.

If you like period pieces, you’ll especially enjoy the French parts of the movie.  I wouldn’t have thought post-WWII Paris could have looked so luscious.  My husband was salivating from the beginning of the movie…over the wood paneled blue Buick station wagon.

Meryl Streep delivers an award-winnable performance as the jaunty Julia Child.  She captures the voice, the mannerisms and the joi de vivre that is signature Julia.  One cannot help but love this woman who is so at home in her own skin.  Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a cubicle worker and aspiring writer, restless and riddled with angst.  Julia becomes Julie’s role model.

Paul Child and Eric Powell, the husbands, play supporting roles.  The film portrays the Childs’ relationship as stable and secure, tinged with sadness at their inability to conceive; Julie and Eric’s marriage is threatened by the blogging project and her focus on it.  It is refreshing to see a movie with two married couples for whom fidelity is a given. 

The main message that I extracted is that Julia Child was her joyful, unflappable self because she was a woman adored by her husband.  His love “beautified” her.  We admire this woman who is plain and tall, with a voice that grazes the ceiling, because of her passion and zest and joy in cooking. The security of being  loved meant she didn’t have to edit the fiascos out of her television shows.  That woman could laugh.

My strongest criticism is that the intimacy of both couples was overstated and brought on screen.  Less is more.  The scene where Julia and Paul exit their Paris house holding hands until their fingertips part communicates their sexual sizzle better than the bedroom scenes.

Oh..the food!  Lots of butter, lots of whisking, chopping, and plenty of eating.  It’s delicious.

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6 thoughts on “Julie and Julia

  1. Absolutely loved this movie! I even went to see it twice, with 2 different people (one 27-yr-old daughter, one friend my age) who loved it equally. Meryl Streep is my acting heroine–every nuance, every movement, the voice, all were perfect! Amy Adams…not so much. A little too cutesie. And at the end, yes, I wanted to run out and buy Julia’s cookbook and make beef bourguignon! 

  2. Excellent review…. your writing flows.  Even though I’d already read several reviews (and seen the movie), I did not skim through.  Hope you’ll submit this to  your local paper!

  3. I agree this is a wonderful review.  We haven’t seen the movie yet but it is one of the rare ones I want to catch at the theater.  Your recommendation confirms that I must see this movie.  We just watched Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia on Netflix and I’d love to see her as Julia Child. 

  4. So, now I have to see this…I loved the biography of Julia Child on the Food network a year or so ago…I happened to turn it on when I was sick and was riveted.  I went to school with a niece of hers and she talked about her some, when I was young – say 12 or so, I’ve been a fan since.

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