Julie & Julia (2009)
I never thought I would actually watch a film about cooking and I just have. I think what had me was the crazy idea that Meryl Streep played dual roles in Julie & Julia (2009) which I was again proved wrong. Instead It was in for a delightful treat as we see two women connected only by a cookery bookWhat begins as something to reinvigorate Julie Powell (Amy Adams) after giving up her job to help victims of 9/11 in a call centre, seeing her other friends who are lost in their phones and busy lives. She devises a challenge that will give her focus and drive for a year. To complete all the recipes of Julia Child‘s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking“ in a year, that’s 534 recipes in 365 days. In a year that sees her turn thirty and see her life change as she shares with may others in the virtual world her experiences via a blog.
Whilst running parallel with Julie’s year we follow the life of Julia Child (Streep) a larger than life woman who is enjoying life in Paris whilst her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) works at the U.S. embassy. Leaving her with plenty of time on her hands. channelling her energy of love of food into cookery school, which is a fight in itself to be taken seriously by the school, who finally allow her to take the advanced classes. She rises to the top of the class ready for a new challenge, to share her passion for food with other Americans. Taking the form of a book for those without servants, an idea that sees her through the majority of the film, as she write one of the most comprehensive cookery books that publishers and the world have ever seen.
Whilst in post 9/11 New York the blossoming blogger is starting to work her way through the vast recipes that were tirelessly written down 50 years earlier. A task that she enjoys and relishes seeing her come alive like never before having moved house to live above a pizza takeaway it could be much worse. Which happens when her drive gets in the way of what is important between her and husband Eric Powell (Chris Messina). Feeling all the love from her growing followers who she doesn’t really know but seems to have an attachment too. More so to Julia, a woman now in her 90s who doesn’t appreciate the following and interest that has been created by the blogger. Who has been inspired, given purpose once more.
Back in the final days of the books fight to be published there’s a really desire to share and make a connection with others by Julia something which she seems to have lost with the passage of time when the infamous blog starts posting. From someone who has found a passion for food, wasn’t that what it was all about, to make and eat great food, the sharing of something special with others?
Both Adams and Streep are on great form, more so Streep who relishes the part of an American culinary legend who is a characters in herself. I can see that Adams is moving away from the comedy roles that brought her to our attention, which she does more so in The Master (2012). It’s semi serious as the actress balances comedy with drama here taking on a very feminine stereotype of staying in the home, turning it into a hobby whilst still having a job. The blogging element is handled well, a new form of writing and expression, a tool I am using now to tell you about my opinion of this film and my practice which is the main purpose. Yet it allows for new and exciting connections to be made. Democratising publishing for the masses who were once restricted by the need for journalism or an agent to get a piece published, this maybe where Julia didn’t understand the respect that Julie had for her. A very modern way of sharing ideas, far from the publishing of a book from the typewriter to finally reach American homes. The recipes remain the same which is all that really matters, what more do you need?
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