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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mini-Review: Julie & Julia

We've had yet more rain. 14 inches, not counting the overflow when it was too wicked-wet to empty out the water gauge.

Cold and rainy, we've been cocooning this past week with a marathon of movies. One of the movies in the queue was Julie & Julia.

It was a movie made out of a combination of two books: My Life in France (Julia Child's autobiography) and a memoir of Julie Powell who cooked and blogged her way through Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

After watching this movie I'm convinced there's nothing Meryl Streep can't do. She somehow adapted Child's voice, body language, and mannerisms into a character that bursts to life. Streep is absolutely brilliant.

Amy Adams plays Julie Powell. I adore perky Amy Adams but I couldn't help feeling she was being kind to an otherwise bratty character. Julie Powell comes across as whiny, self-centered, and immature. Amy Adams handled a difficult character with a lot of grace, but you can still see the brat under the blanket. I get annoyed with people constantly in me-me-me mode and this woman seemed to live in that state.

I loved how the director mirrored Julie's life in the 21st century and Julia Child's life in 1940s France. The sets, the clothes, and the food was sheer artistry. The actors were believable. They breathed life into their characters. There wasn't a poor performance anywhere in the movie.

As I like to do with movies, I did some research on the real life people behind the story. I found a new affection and respect for Julia Child. She was a woman who wasn't afraid to show her passion for food and for her husband. The movie is worth watching just to see the romance between Julia Child and her husband, Paul simmer.

Julie Powell, sad to say, seems to have lived up to my suspicions. Apparently, after her blog fame, she wrote another book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession, a memoir of her adulterous sex life. :facepalm: Judging by the reviews, it was not pretty.

I highly recommend Julie & Julia though. The performances, the sets, and the food will have you salivating to cook up something fancy. 

Right now I've got a craving for lobster in garlic butter sauce. Bon app├ętit.

Are you a foodie?


25 comments:

Darke Conteur said...

I love this movie too! Husband and I watched it and we found a new love of French food. We've even found Julia's show on one of the cooking channels up here and it's hilarious to to watch. I didn't know they had instant potatoes in 1950.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I really didn't appreciate Julia Child back when she was alive and doing her shows, but now, I'm always looking for new taste adventures. Maybe my palate has matured. :)

Jackie Burris said...

A movie have not seen but wish to someday. I did enjoy Julia Child in her heyday with her cooking show on occasion, nice to know she was as passionate in her private life too as that is not always the case with artistic people.

Maria if by foodie you mean meat and potatoes comfort foods than yes guess so. My palate does not run to sophisticated fare but am adventurous enough to try something out of the ordinary on occasion, which has led me to broaden my range of foods slightly from childhood favorites.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm totally a foodie. And Meryl Streep did such a good job that it's hard to remember that it WASN'T Julia Childs in the movie

Angela Brown said...

This movie has been on my TBW list for a while. I'm not a foodie, but I was always interested in Julia Childs, mostly because of her voice and mannerisms. Sounds like I really need to move this up my list.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: A foodie is anyone who enjoys eating, reading, watching, or talking about food. Rent the movie. I think you'll enjoy it.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah:
Re: Meryl
I know, right! I had to keep reminding myself that she was acting.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It was surprisingly good. I caught a piece of it on tv and found it on Amazon for only $3.96. I'm glad I bought it. I'm sure we'll watch it again and again.

http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Julia-Meryl-Streep/dp/B002RSDW80/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1449069105&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=julie+%26+julia

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I enjoyed Powell's book when I read it way back, but I didn't read her next one. I really liked the movie, and I totally agree about Streep. :)

betty said...

Oh my gosh, yes, indeed a foodie :) (and I have the extra 50 pounds to show that I am :)

I did hear about this movie; I'm going to have to check it out and see it (we tend to do more action packed films here but sometimes I can sneak in a movie like this). You are right Meryl Streep is an amazing actress with the parts she can do.

I don't know much about Julia Childs except for her cooking, so this was interesting to read about the deep love she had for her husband.

betty

Marlene Dotterer said...

This foodie loved that movie, too. It looked like so much fun. I was tempted to do a run-through of my own Julia Child cookbook, but I came to my senses in time!

Gwen Gardner said...

You nailed it, Maria! I knew there was something about Amy Adams' character that bothered me. She just wasn't likable. I never heard of that second book she wrote. I don't know why some people want to flaunt what a horrible person they are *shakes head*

Gwen Gardner said...

Oh, and I love Julie Child so much! Especially the bit that came out about her being a spy :)

Diane Carlisle said...

Never heard of this one! I loved Julia Child and her fun voice! When SNL mocked her in a skit, I was rolling laughing. I will definitely put this on my watch list!

Maria Zannini said...

Madeline: Meryl Streep was flawless. I think she was nominated for the Oscar. She should've won.

I also loved her in The Devil Wears Prada.

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: You would like this movie. I was deeply moved by how much Paul and Julia loved each other.

Rent it if you can, or pick it up on Amazon for 4 bucks.

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I know! I don't think I could handle an entire year of French cooking. Some of those recipes are a little too rich for me. But every once in a while I'm tempted to try a dish that's above my level of expertise.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: I do my best to hide what a terrible person I am. LOL!

Amy Adams was very cute though. I loved her in Enchanted.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: The SNL skit is actually in the movie. I remember when they first aired it on SNL. We were rolling on the floor.

Go and watch it. It gets you on so many levels.

Darke Conteur said...

After we watched it the first time, Husband was all "what would Julia do' or 'how would Julia cook it'. :D

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Lately we've been whispering 'lobster killer' to each other.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm not a foodie. I agree with you about Meryl, she is always great. I'll probably watch that movie at some point because I've heard it's good from so many sources.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Even if you're not a foodie. It's a good movie. I love the historical accuracy for setting and clothes.

Shelley Munro said...

I enjoyed this movie too, even though I thought I wouldn't. Meryl Streep is a brilliant actress and was very good as Julia Childs. She's excellent in the Maggie Thatcher movie too.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: i forgot she played Margaret Thatcher. It was a great movie. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.

That's what makes Streep brilliant. You don't see she's acting once she gets into character.