Sunday, August 23, 2009

Drop Your Forks And Go Now!

Julie and Julia: A Review

Gosh, a movie about cooking and women who cook, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams?
And Streep plays Julia Child? What could possibly go wrong?
With Nora Ephron's writing and directing, this movie was a confection, with appetizers, salad, fish and an entree thrown in for good measure.
For starters, Meryl Streep became Julia Child. Within 20 seconds of her first screen appearance, I totally forgot it was Streep.
From the sloping shoulders to the warbling voice and the taller than tall presence, she made me believe Julia was not dead, she was in her 40's and bigger than life.
We all know the movie's premise:
Julie is a married 29-year-old in NYC looking for a project to snap her out of her ennui, at work and at home. Her saint of a husband suggests she start a blog about food, but she needs to set a deadline or she won't follow through.
So her goal is to cook all 552 recipes in Julia Child's masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days, blogging about it all the while.
The movie toggles between Julie in modern times and Julia and her husband Paul (played by Stanley Tucci) back in Paris during the 40's and 50's.
Oh, the glorious food shots!
Julia, sniffing fresh herbs at a French produce stall. Julia, hoisting fresh fish. Julia, buying bread at a Parisian boulangerie. Julia, at the Cordon Bleu learning to cook in the proper French style.
Julie, giving sliced mushrooms plenty of room in the pan to saute more evenly, and searing lean beef chunks for boeuf bourguignon.
My movie companion and I drooled as we watched dish after dish being prepared, by both J's, with such gustatory abandon.
She and I agreed to make boeuf bourguignon together soon. She's got a great kitchen with professional grade appliances, and I've got sharp knives and good pots and pans, so it should be fun. I'll take pictures.
I think Meryl Streep could (and should) get an Oscar for her amazing performance.
Go see the movie, come back and tell me your impressions. I can't wait to hear what you thought.


  1. My husband and I saw it last week and thought it was terrific. Meryl Streep definitely deserves an Oscar for this one, as do Stanley Tucci and Jane Lynch. Remarkable picture!

  2. Jane Lynch was great as Julia's sister.
    My movie companion got to see her do stand-up in Provincetown and she's got such a crush on her it's not even funny.
    Her role may have been too small to get an Oscar, but she definitely brought something good to the movie.

  3. I sure liked Julia better than Julie, tho.

    Somehow, cramming all those recipes into the space of a year trivialized Julia' achievement, or seemed to.

    In the end Julie seems as shallow and driven as her tacky little circle of friends.

    Unintended subtext?

  4. Good thing we saw it at a theater that also serves great food or I would have been miserable.