Julie & Julia,
directed by Nora Ephron
(Sony, 2009)

It's 1949, and Julia Child (Meryl Streep) moves with her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) to France. She can't figure out what to do with herself. Paul encourages her to do the thing she loves -- eat. Despite the fact that she cannot boil an egg, she goes to the Cordon Bleu and learns French cuisine. Almost 10 years later, she's the author of the first French cookbook for American women.

It's 2002, and Julie (Amy Adams) sees her dreams of becoming a writer nearly achieved. The editor of the Amherst literary rag and the girl most likely is now a mid-level bureaucrat in a job that doesn't fulfill her and a 900-square-foot apartment that is closing in more and more by the day. Eric (Chris Messina), her husband, encourages her to find something she loves to do to complete her. She loves to cook, so she decides to go through Child's cookbook for a year and blog the experience.

The two women's stories are told in parallel, so you can see how much the pair do have in common. The performances by the quartet of leading actors is excellent -- and the presentation of food in all segments is daunting. (Streep admits to having gained 15 pounds for this film and needing a year and a half to lose it.)

WARNING: This film may well be a diet buster. Everyone I have talked to says you're going to want to eat after you've seen it, and they are right. You might as well have a dinner at a fine French restaurant planned for afterward -- or at the least, make up a big bowl of buttered popcorn.

review by
Becky Kyle

5 March 2011

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