Julie & Julia, Nora Ephron’s latest movie, is actually the story of three separate books. Combining Julia Child’s memoir “My Life in Paris” with Julie Powell’s memoir “Julie & Julia,” the story cuts back and forth between the two women’s lives.
Critics have said that the film lacked a uniting thread, since the two women never meet. But it’s right there, in all it’s glory- Julia Child (and Simone Beck)’s own opus, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Even before Julia becomes involved in creating it, the book is there. We know that she’ll write it, and we know that it will help define her career. And through Julie’s project of completing all the recipes in the book within a year- it’s impossible to ignore The Book’s presence.
Meryl Streep gives another amazing performance as Julia Child, embodying her so fully that even when watching one of Child’s most famous television appearances being re-enacted by Streep, that it wasn’t jarring in my mind. Amy Adams, as Julie Powell, gives a terrific performance as well. Few articles have said much about the performance, save that they felt Powell was too self-absorbed to embrace as a heroine. Yet, that’s the point. Julie Powell, the real Julie Powell, has a reputation amongst the food community as being self-absorbed and not entirely personable.
That said, the movie is about two very different (and yet similar) women seeking to find themselves through food. Through plenty of beautifully prepared, gorgeously shot food.
As a food enthusiast, a fan of Julia (and Julie Powell’s blog), and as someone who enjoys movies, I highly recommend it.