Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Julie and Julia: movie review

My husband and I saw Julie and Julia over the weekend. I knew my husband wasn't looking forward to the movie at all - and it didn't help when the young man who we bought our popcorn and drinks from asked us what movie we were going to see and grimaced when I told him, and he said, "It's a cooking movie" as he rolled his eyes. Fortunately, it is more than just a "cooking movie" and it's not just a silly "chick flick" either - in fact, it's a wonderful feel-good movie based on two different true stories but woven seamlessly together. One story is about how Julia Child, a famous (in the USA) American TV chef, began her path to her new career in the cooking profession by studying at the Cordon Bleu academy in post Second World War France. Julia Child was famous for her height (6ft 2in) and her distinctive voice which Meryl Streep manages to re-create so perfectly. The actess even manages to look much taller and ungainly, so she resembles the famous Julia Child in appearance too. The other story is about Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a young woman living in New York who decides to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, during a single year, and to blog about it. Her blog was turned into a book - and then into this movie. It was interesting to see how she faced the challenge and I can see why her blog became so popular. The best bits of the movie were the scenes with Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and her husband, Paul Child (Stanley Tucci). They were utterly devoted to one another and the way their loving relationship is portrayed is absolutely delightful to watch. My husband and I both really enjoyed the movie. And even though my husband had no idea who Julia Child was (as indeed most British people wouldn't know), he said it was better than he expected. It was a lot funnier than I expected. Meryl Streep was brilliant. I highly recommend it.

10 comments:

  1. It got good reviews so I'm not surprised that you enjoyed it so much.
    I'll no doubt watch it when shown on TV as I always like feel-good films! xx

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  2. I want to see it so badly! I read the book when it first came out and loved it, and recently I read Julia Child's memoir about her life in Paris. Yum.

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  3. Flighty - you're right, it has got very good reviews. I don't think I've read a bad review of the movie yet. Yes, do watch it when it is eventually shown on TV - I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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  4. notfromaroundhere (sorry, I searched your blog for your name but can't find it), you must go see the movie if you loved the book based on Julie's blog and also read Julia Child's memoir. You will LOVE the movie! I think it's a delight from beginning to end. Go see it.

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  5. A good movie. Entertaining and sad (Julia couldn't have children). Highly recommended.

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  6. I agree - it was very sad that Julia couldn't have children because the movie showed how much that meant to her. That scene was only a very brief part of the movie however so I want to make it clear to people reading these comments that it is indeeed a very entertaining movie (with lots of laugh out loud moments!) and very much a feel-good movie.

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  7. This movie has received a good deal of attention in the United States; many people feel that the "Julie" part of the story was weak and could easily have been eliminated. I personally am ambivalent about it.

    That fact that anyone would like to cook all the recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year is amazing. Julie herself admitted on U.S. television that she wouldn't do it again.

    There are two scenes where Julia's childlessness is brought up; they are so brief that unless you knew something about her you might miss them. One was when a baby in a carriage (pram) passed by, the other was when she received news of her sister's pregnancy. Though brief, they brought a human quality to Julia (who was was often ridiculed on U.S. television, as the movie shows).

    Meryl Streep fans might remember Stanley Tucci from another movie they both were in--The Devil Wears Prada. They might also remember that Stanley Tucci was himself once the star of a "cooking movie"--Big Night.

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  8. I agree that the "Julie" part of the story was weak but I don't think it could easily have been eliminated. I think the stories of the two women were woven together into a very watchable movie. That said, I did enjoy watching the parts of the movie about Julia Child more. She was just such an amazing character and Meryl Streep portrayed her so perfectly.

    I missed the scene with the baby in a pram - it must have been a very brief scene indeed. Thanks for pointing that out. If I ever watch the movie again, I will look for it.

    I completely forgot that Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci had acted together in The Devil Wears Prada! They certainly have a great chemistry when they are on screen together.

    Thanks for posting such an iteresting and informative comment!

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  9. I so remember Julia ! My brother was a big fan and he would do this great impersonation of her - she was great fun to watch. Think I've just revealed my age here. I'm an American married to a Brit and just like your scenario, mine has never heard of Julia either. I also blog a bit !

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  10. Hello Marsha - how wonderful to hear from another American married to a Brit!

    I bet your brother would enjoy watching the movie too - it's not just a "chick-flick"! My husband thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I heard plenty of men laughing along with the women in the audience.

    I agree about Julie Child being fun to watch and Meryl Streep has captured her zany personality perfectly.

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