Monday, August 31, 2009
I just had to see Julie & Julia because it truly represents Film in Food! It's also about blogging and finding joy in what you do.
This film takes you on the journey of two women's lives as they are on the brink of celebrity and success, although unbeknownst to them at the time. I read that Meryl Streep did not so much wish to impersonate Julia Child, but rather portray the image Julie Powell would have had in her head of Julia Child. This subtly worked well, but what else would you expect from Meryl Streep.
I realize Amy Adams has held her own with Streep in Doubt, but because of her roles in Enchanted, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum, I think of Adams as being overly animated and cartoon-like, but with the trick of a very unflattering hairdo, she was transformed into a believable working woman, staring 30 in the face, unsure about her future and disappointed by the things that have not yet happened.
The director/screenwriter, Nora Ephron shot all the New York scenes first, with Adams and Chris Messina, who plays Julie Powell's "saintly" husband Eric. Once they wrapped, Ephron and crew went on to Paris and shot the scenes with Streep and Stanley Tucci, who plays Julia Child's ever-present, supportive husband, Paul. (Both husbands play a big role in the film, and I'll get back to that). As the shooting schedule suggests, the film is meant to be Julie Powell's story of finding inspiration in Julia Child, with a bit of Child's life sprinkled in to make it savory. However, Julie & Julia feels more like a Julia Child biopic - with Julie Powell's story added as contemporary flavoring.
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.
Back to the husbands, One thing Ephron is famous for is romance, and she did not disappoint in the depiction of these wonderful marriages . These men were truly interested in what their wives were attempting to accomplish. They were helpful without taking over, desirous without being demanding, and most of all, they actually knew how to just listen.
I saw the film at 10pm, alone in a cold theater with every seat in the house empty but two; and I cried at the end, buckets of tears. Not because it was such a wonderful film, (it was good, not exceptional) rather because I understand a longing for life to unfold in uncommon and unexpected ways. To have the opportunity to find bliss!
Food Footnote: It's all just one glorious food footnote! With such a delectable subject as French cuisine, the film was filled with a constant presence of food. Culinary consultant's were brought in Susan Spungen, food journalist for Martha Stewart Living and French Culinary Institute graduate and executive chef, Colin Flynn.
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog