Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Julie and Julia

Am I like the last person on the planet that saw this movie?   I finally got to see it over the weekend.  I am glad that I did because it was a gentle comedy interweaving a blog writer in 2003 and a rather grand person in the 40s through the 60s.   The movie drew some strong parallels between the two lives two generations apart, and showed some quite amusing moments.

Oh, since they cooked some lobsters, there was no notice of "No Animals were harmed in the making of this picture".   But how could you do a movie on the "Mastering of French Cooking" without at least trying some Lobster recipes?  I'm not completely happy with someone plunging a living creature into boiling water no matter how much seasoning is in it, but that has never stopped me from eating them. 

The movie shows Julia Child's live from arrival in Paris in 1947 until she had been given the opportunity to do her first cooking show in WGBH Boston in the the 60s.  She was a fascinating character that everyone has had the opportunity to be exposed to and became a larger than life one at that.   I remember seeing her shows on the PBS Station while I was young and fascinated by this woman with the funny voice talking about her Boeuf and other recipes.  

The other headliner was Julie who was a blog writer in 2003 that took up the task of cooking every single recipe in Julia Child's seminal work of "Mastering" within the course of a year.   547 recipes in 365 days.   I'll say that I am a better than average baker, but the idea of trying over 500 French Recipes within the course of a year is not something I'd even consider.

I did think that the person portrayed in the movie who wrote the blog, Julie seemed a bit obsessed over Juila Child saying that she wished that she could be transported back in time and be a part of Julia's wedding.   That's a bit Obsessive/Compulsive.   I've found myself getting into the thought processes of an author who's writings I've enjoyed but the whole time travel thing is something more than I'd consider.

At any rate, OCD Aside, it was a pleasant and enjoyable movie.  I'm glad I have it on DVD because I would certainly watch it again.   It showed the love Julia Child had for her husband, for France, French Culture, and French Cooking.   It is easy to say that had she not went to the Cordon Bleu and been snubbed by the rather myopic President of the school, she may not have gone on to start her own school, write the book with the two other collaborators, and lay the foundation for Food TV and the other cable cookery shows.

Julie's life was fascinating.  A Regular Woman, working in a government office in New York City, moving to an apartment in Queens over a Pizza Parlor so she could have more space with her husband and cat, and taking up a challenge like that is not something that happens every day.   Julie didn't care for the place but as her husband kept saying "Remember, 900 Square Feet" means a lot.  New York Apartments are rabbit hutch small, and my house here in Florida is only 1200 square feet.  I think I'd be comfortable in that if it were on a train line.  Begin cooking a recipe and a half a day, blogging about it, and working a full time job will certainly change your life.

Well worth the watch.


  1. I loved this movie! The contrast between the social mores of each woman's era were what struck me as poignant and just a little profound. I adore Meryl Streep and have grown to be a big fan of Amy Adams since her go as the princess in "Enchanted." She and Meryl were spectacular in "Doubt," so if you liked these actors in "Julie & Julia," you might like "Doubt," too, although the movies are quite different in every other way. Anyway. Just my humble opinion ...

  2. I think you're right, I'm going to look or that DVD. Meryl Streep is an awesome actress, someone who is at the peak of her art form.