Julie & Julia (12A)

Film

Comedy

723.fi.x491.julia.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 8 2009

Read an interview with Ephron here

If, as screenwriter and director Nora Ephron has done, you take two foodie memoirs, fold one into the other and add judicious amounts of sugar, the result is bound to make a viewer hungry – but for what?

Sure, there are close-ups of boeuf bourgignon and chocolate almond cake, and a lot of unfashionable drooling over butter, both in post-war Paris where Julia Child (Meryl Streep) learns French cooking and in post-9/11 Queens where Julie Powell (Amy Adams) cooks and blogs her way through Child’s book; but the food isn’t the point. Julia and Julie are both happily married women in search of something meaningful to do. Food, for them, isn’t filling: it’s fulfilment.

The larger issues of food and cooking in a woman’s life are left on the side of the plate, but the bouncing back and forth between Julie’s poky American kitchen and Julia’s gracious Parisian one can’t help but inspire comparisons. Can a Magimix and Instant Messaging really compensate for the glamour of real pearls, an authentic French cookery school and letters you can open? Worse, this Julia is largely a figment of Julie’s imagination, so her life is tiresomely close to perfect. Unlike her acolyte, Julia has no marital quarrels, no money problems, no dispiriting day job. Her career has a selfless motive – the desire to teach Americans how to cook French food – while Julie’s is all about Julie.

The result is a film that’s charming, funny – especially when Streep is on screen, broadcasting her superb impression of the tall, charismatic, high-pitched Child – but leaves you with a dissatisfaction with modern life that no culinary masterpiece can relieve.

Read an interview with Ephron here
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 11, 2009

Duration:

123 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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Mike

Julia Child isn’t someone with whom I was familiar until this movie. In the UK her closest equivalent is Delia Smith. So you can understand why Americans like/love Julia Child so much – like Delia did in the UK, Child taught America to cook. As I wasn’t sure about Merrill Streep’s speaking style in this film, I looked up Julia Child on YouTube, only to find that made-up, Streep is a deadringer for Julia Child, and talks exactly like her throughout this film. This inspired me to read Julia Child’s autobiography “My Life in France�, and Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously�. This film is frighteningly accurate to both Child and Powell’s books, and the YouTube videos - even down to the layout of Julia Child’s various homes – well captured in the many photographs taken by her photographer husband and cultural attaché to the American Embassy, Paul Child. Though she didn’t win an Oscar for it, Merrill Streep deservedly won a Golden Globe for “Best Actress� her performance. Amy Adams as Julie Powell is superb, as was her performance opposite Streep only the year before in “Doubt�. Nora Ephron wrote an excellent script for this film – hardly surprising given all the source material she had to go on. One of my favourite films, humorous throughout. Go see.

Violet

I had never heard of Julia Child until viewing this movie, but found myself inspired to look into French cooking or even begin a blog about food. Actually, I have decided to have a go at learning French! Don't you think Meryl Streep is an amazing actor? She gives what I believe to be yet another brilliant performance in the role of Julia Child - she nailed the quirky American/french femme perfectly! I didn't realize how tall she was until seeing her beside her devoted husband Stanley Tucci (perfect in the role). Man alive! - she towers over him! they were a gorgeous team as husband and wife - I enjoyed them enjoying each other as well as enjoying their food. I was delighted by the funny nuances highlighting Julias' interactions with the food and her husband and found myself laughing out loud a few times. What is it about turning 30 that causes some women to become so caught up in trying to somehow feel better about themselves after a supposed life of mediocrity? What is with that? Turning 30 is not the problem! Carpe` diem honey buns! Amy Adams gave a very believeable performance as Julie Powell (a neurotic and egocentric character trying to have as meaningful a life as her yuppy friends). The part I least enjoyed about this film was the bla ending - it left me feeling a little unfulfilled. I don't regret seeing this film and will look for it on DVD to add to my ever increasing Chick Flick section of my collection. I am sad to say that since seeing the film I was inspired to purchase a copy of the book - OMG! What a let down! Reading it was like pulling teeth! Can I say to anyone who has not read the book yet, don't bother - its not worth ruining the pleasant memory of the film. It is full of over indulgence of alcohol, expletives and sex inuendo regarding some of the recipes (thoroughly out of context). Sadly, it also leaves out a great part of the Julia story and although I persevered as long as I could, I only got 3/4 of the way through before I put it away with great disappointment. Needless to say, I regret wasting the $25 I paid for it.

Masa

Sorry Sheila, but i am totally thinking otherwise, Meryl Streep is absolutely amazing again and co-cast are excellent too. Her voice and gestures describe perfectly Julia Child´s figure and Stanley Tucci with her husband is very much something different role which i have use to see him. He usually plays in mafia/police action films, but this diplomate role suits him very well. Of course if you like food, you maybe like cooking and this is what is it about, passion and love for something. I sincerely recommend this film to everybody, because it makes you very good mood:)

gallerista

I really enjoyed this film. I agree the Julia child bits are the best. I grew up learning to cook with her book and still have the battered penguin book. makes one want to rush out and make something delicious. not for the men though at least in my household.

Shelley said

I really enjoyed this film. I'd gone to the pictures to please friends but privately thought the title and plot sounded awful. To my suprise, I found myself captivated by both women's stories and laughed out loud at the funny incidents. I also emerged with a burning desire to track down Julia's recipes and make some of that delicious food for myself. It will be up to you to decide if you love or hate this film. I would however recommend that you give it a whirl as my two friends and I thought it was a very, very enjoyable film.

Shelley said

I really enjoyed this film. I'd gone to the pictures to please friends but privately thought the title and plot sounded awful. To my suprise, I found myself captivated by both women's stories and laughed out loud at the funny incidents. I also emerged with a burning desire to track down Julia's recipes and make some of that delicious food for myself. It will be up to you to decide if you love or hate this film. I would however recommend that you give it a whirl as my two friends and I thought it was a very, very enjoyable film.

Lady V.

Well, I can't help those who didn't like the movie, but thanks for paying money to it, anyway. ;) I did not know Julia Child before, because I'm not american. But even without this knowledge, I was pleased to see the most stunning performance by Meryl Streep in the last years. That exactly makes her called the greatest actress in the world right now, because when you think, you know her actings, she comes with a new performance around the corner that blows you away. Yes, the voice. It might sound very annoiying, but it belongs to Julia Child and Streep nailed it perfectly. It's not an overdue, if Streep will get her 16. nomination and possible her third trophy for this. I'm defenetly crossing my fingers for that. The Julia-parts are the meat of this film of course. I love Stanley Tucci as her charming husband. They are such a cute couple. But I also liked the Julie-parts very well. They might be not so interesting as the Julia-parts, but Amy Adams did a very well job as Julie Powell. I'm reading the book at the moment and Adams captured the neurotic and a bit egozentrich Powell very good. I'm sorry for writing and grammar mistakes. English is not my native language. Anyway, I like this film. Saw it twice and I don't regret it.

Readie

Loved the Julia part of the film - personally I thought both Streep and Tucci were excellent, and the relationship between the two simply lovely - but the Julie part left me a bit cold. So she hates her job, lives in a pokey apartment on a busy road and above a shop, and is feeling unfulfilled as she hits 30. Well, don't we all, love. At least you've got a drippy but devoted husband to humour you as you decide to make a big fuss about the fact. Her "plight" felt particularly superficial when compared with the genuine challenges faced by Julia: in a foreign country, in a time where women's ambitions are laughed at, and touched by the McCarthy era. All this left me with a strong desire to give Julie a good hard slap. (To be fair, this may be envy on my part. Around 2002 I wrote a blog, dreamed of a writing contract, and lived on the South Circular in a properly pokey flat above a locksmith shop. But do you see anyone wanting to make a film about my life? No you bloody don't.) All that said, I found it an enjoyable, funny and in places heartwarming film - just as one would expect from Ephron - and would argue it's worth seeing just for the star turns from Streep and Tucci. Do prepare yourself for somewhat of a non-ending, though.