Star - Meryl Streep
Genre - Rom Com
Run Time - 123 minutes
Certificate - PG13
Country - USA
Awards - 1 Oscar nomination
Amazon - £3.75 DVD - £19.65 Blue Ray
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I hate chick flicks! But Julie & Julia suggested it may not be a chick flick like I understand a chick flick to be and with the director of Sleepless in Seattle, a one Nora Ephron, behind the camera and Queen of Hollywood in 3 time Oscar winner Meryl Streep (nominated here for best actress) the star it had to be worth breaking my chick flick embargo for. With co-star Amy Adams having 5 Oscar nominations to her name and Stanley Tucci with another one it was only ever another nudge in the ribs to give it ago. It was also not classed as a romantic comedy and so room for me to get something from this. My last lapse into the genre was Definitely Maybe (a definitely not) way back in 2008 which I unfortunately gave the benefit of the doubt and so I needed at least a five year break to go back again. Female films are most definitely from Venus.
Julie & Julia is a fictional story based around the very real and original American TV cook ( not Walter White) Julia Child, a rather oddball and blustering lady of advanced years who became the housewives favorite in the late 1960s and as she delivered her French recipes through easy to understand books and hour long TV specials for four decades. With her gauche delivery and shrill voice she was a cross between Keith Floyd and Fanny Craddock and known for her rather clumsy approach to cooking. And she was tall, an awkward looking 6ft, 2 inch 60-year-old when she first appeared on American television. The 5'6 Streep had to stand on a box for most of the film to try and add that sense of height and overbearing to the role. Like Childs, Streep spent time in Paris learning to cook their food and speak their language.
===Meryl Streep Roll of Honor===
3 Oscar wins (18 nominations)
8 Golden Globes (19 nominations)
2 BAFTAS (11 nominations)
2 EMMYs (3 nominations)
Meryl Streep ... Julia Child
Amy Adams ... Julie Powell
Stanley Tucci ... Paul Child
Chris Messina ... Eric Powell
Linda Emond ... Simone Beck
Helen Carey ... Louisette Bertholle
Mary Rajskub... Sarah
Jane Lynch ... Dorothy McWilliams
Joan Juliet Buck ... Madame Brassart
27-year-old Julie Powell (Amy Adams) works in a Manhattan call-center dealing with 911 compensation claims, a stressful but unrewarding job. Julia loves cooking and dreams of writing about it for money. Her husband Eric (Chris Messina) is supportive and knows he will only ever be second best to her first love of writing.
Julie adores the French cookbooks of Julia Child (Meryl Streep), America's favorite TV cook and foodie from the 1960s, and decides to embark on an ambitious project to cook every single recipe from Childs book called 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking', but in just one year. Eric is again supportive and suggests his wife blogs about her experience of the challenge.
During the film we flashback to the life of Childs and her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci), he, a diplomat posted around the world, she, simply, a diplomats wife. But when they get posted to Paris Julia decides to embrace the culture and learn to cook French food, enrolling into a Cordon Blue Parisian cooking school, her pompous teacher Madame Louisette Bertholle (Helen Carey) insisting the American learns French before she even whisks an egg.
Back to Julie as she powers through her quest, gaining an online following, many fellow Childs fans enjoying her writing and her ups and downs in life. Eric, of course, is being neglected for the pots and pans and soon sleeping on the sofa in a sulk.
And it's in the year of 1960 that Julia decides to write her iconic French cooking book that's Julie's motivation some 40 years on, Julia's snotty French cookery teacher her co-writer to help with translation. But the publishers are reticent to touch her 600 page manuscript, too diverse and complicated for the American public back home to dissect, so says her male patronizing publishers. But its better news for Julie in 2002 as a journalist from the NY Post has spotted her work and wants to meet, intrigued by the Julia Childs connection. But can their marriage survive this quest is the real question for the NY Post as the book and blog pull Julie away from Eric, female emancipation her husband isn't enjoying.
For a film that's clearly supposed to be addressing female emancipation from the kitchen over the decades it's surprisingly limp wristed. I'm afraid it's still not the genre for me after this, all too girly and the men in the woman's lives way two dimensional and irrelevant. The gentle feminist issues of the woman's role in the kitchen and female social change over 60 years seems to be decoupled in the fluffy writing and ending up two different films in one. I couldn't work out of cooking was bad for women or good for women. My cooking is certainly bad for women. Streep's performance as Childs was more Dame Edna Everidge meets Stacey Solomon than authentic but blustery enough to keep me interested in her performance of a woman I know little of. Amy Adams doesn't dare flex her acting chops alongside and plays it fluffy and straightforward, pretty pointless to try and live with Streep who she doesn't appear in a scene with her. Meryl is the best actress I have ever seen in my lifetime by far. Adams and Streep had worked together in the rather good religious drama Doubt and so chemistry and history between the two. Tucci had also played alongside Streep in The devil Wears Prada.
I tried hard to enjoy this but its basically pretty housewife making cakes in one bit of the film and Streep making cakes in the other, but wearing a Margaret Thatcher hat, the two passive husbands sitting back and letting them get on with it. There is no physical connection or confrontation between the two cook's lives that empowers the film to the next level which it so needed and maybe a clever twist would have helped to achieve that. The real Childs died in 2006 a sprightly and mentally aware 88-year-old and so a four year window to mix their two worlds. But it didn't happen and so the film became two halves and rather discombobulating as far as the narrative goes. It really needed some of Nigela Lawson's special icing sugar to liven things up. Not that I'm suggesting Childs was on Class-A.
Imdb.com - 7.0/10.0 (59.125votes)
Metacrtic.com - 66% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com -75 % critic's approval
The Times -'Julie & Julia is a highly polished piece of up market entertainment, brimming with beautiful interiors. If you throw in the lavish helpings of food porn it's almost like a color supplement come to life'.
Cinema Sight -'A misguided film of differing expectations saved only by its performances'.
The Mail -'Like a beautiful home cooked meal, Julie & Julia is not perfect by industry standards, just warm, comforting and very, very enjoyable'.
Film4 -'Meryl Streep at her most relaxed and enjoyable is a main course in herself. Pity we have to share her with a side order of Nora Ephron at her least appetizing.
The Guardian -'A dose of stodgy comfort food in the form of a complacent, mediocre film, with an exasperatingly flaccid and anti-climactic ending'.
Empire Magazine -'Deliciously funny and warming fare, for which the amazing Meryl deserves her ridiculously overdue third Oscar'.
Sydney Morning Herald - 'This one may be a little too rich but it's full of delights'.
Julia Childs and Julie Powell live in different eras, yet are about to be linked in a way neither of them ever expected. Julia Childs is a chef who lived in Paris and was determined to write a fantastic French cookbook for American women. Julia went to Le Cordon Bleu to learn to cook, and eventually achieved her dream. Back in the present day, Julie Powell is sick of her secretarial job and wants to do something different with her life. She decides to start up a blog where she is going to detail her new task - cooking each of Julia Childs' recipes from her cookbook in just 365 days. Soon, cooking becomes an obsession with Julie, and so does the life of Julia Childs, with some interesting consequences.
Again, this is another movie that was really of no interest to me. I didn't know anything about it, but if I am honest, the cover just put me off and I wasn't that into it. However, it was on late one evening on Sky Movies, and being a huge Meryl Streep fan (the woman can do no wrong in my opinion), I decided to give it a go. At over 2 hours long, it's a pretty lengthy film but I quickly became so absorbed that the time flew by and suddenly it was at an end. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did and I hope people don't judge it like I did on the not-so-great DVD cover and instead give the great film within a chance.
Meryl Streep is absolutely fantastic as the chef Julia Childs. It was interesting to see how she began at Le Cordon Bleu, fighting against the female owner who simply doesn't want Julia there, to someone who then begins to use her skills to write a cook book about French cooking for American housewives. Streep's accent, outfits and personality brilliantly come to life on screen to create a character full of life, and you almost forget you are watching Meryl Streep - she simply becomes Julia Childs for me. Her character goes through a lot of emotions during her parts of the film, but Streep contends with these with ease, she is just a joy to watch. Her voice in particular allows you to imagine her as Childs completely, forgetting she is a famous actress, she simply becomes Julia Childs.
The modern day Julie Powell is played by Amy Adams, who I recently saw in the middle-of-the-road rom com Leap Year. While I wasn't overly keen on her character, I felt Adams did a fantastic job with her. She brings to life Julie's sudden obsession with cooking every one of Julia Childs' recipes in just a year, and how it starts to take over her life and her relationship with her husband. She sports quite a short hairstyle in the film, very different to her long locks she usually has, but it suits her. I thought she had a very good chemistry with Chris Messina who played her husband Eric, the pair bouncing off each other with ease. I also have to say Stanley Tucic, who played Julia Child's husband Paul was fantastic too, he and Streep were simply brilliant on screen and they showed the amazing love and affection Julia and Paul had for each other really well. Do look out for Jane Lynch in a surprise turn as Julia's sister Dorothy, certainly not a look I've seen Lynch in before!
The film alternates between the stories of both women, showing a short period of time with one before switching to the other. It is a film that I found easy to follow, and often left one story on a bit of a cliff hanger so you had to keep watching to find out what was going to happen when it returned to that story once more. Julie Powell lives in modern day New York, so there isn't anything special with the sets and costumes here, but as Julia Child's story is set in Paris in the 1950's, a lot more is required. I felt the costumes, sets, props, music and everything about the film perfectly captured what life was like for Julia Childs, how cooking was different without all the gadgets we have these days, and it was fun to watch Streep tackling her scenes with gusto. I did love her costumes, and those of all the others in the 1950's scenes, they were lovely and suited the characters perfectly.
I thought this was a wonderful film, and a joy to watch from start to finish. I didn't realise at first that this is based on a true story and a book by Julie Powell, and after knowing this is makes watching it even more fun. It is funny to see how cooking has changed, how much Julie Powell struggled with Childs' old fashioned techniques and recipes, and I love how they intertwined both stories, allowing the viewer a good look into the lives of Julia and Julie. Both actresses do wonderful jobs with their characters, and really bring to life their individual stories. As well as the cooking, there are other issues going on throughout the film which add a little depth, and makes for emotional viewing in parts. I was so glad I decided to watch this movie, it really is a gem and fans of Streep and Adams will love it. It's not only a film about cooking but a drama about life, love and achieving your dreams. Fabulous.
Written and Directed by Nora Ephron.
Based on the book by Julie Powell.
Running Time: 123 minutes.
The DVD is available on Amazon for £3.99 (October 2011).
Thank you for reading.
I must admit that I wasn't particularly desperate to see this film despite the fact that Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams are all starring and I like them all. I think it must be the title - it just doesn't reel me in and I am a book by it's cover kind of judge (which doesn't serve me that well if I'm honest). So having picked this up for £3 in a bargain bucket at Blockbusters I settled down to watch all the other films I'd bought until finally I was left with this one.
Meryl Streep stars as culinary legend Julia Child, whose cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, inspired fledgling writer Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to whip up 524 recipies in 365 days. Based on the best selling books, Julie & Julia introduces a new generation to the magic of French cooking and proves that with the right combination of passion and fearlessness, anything is possible. Nora Ephron directs this delicious comedy about joy, obsession and butter. Bon Appetit!
~so what happens~
This film is really two parrallel stories told in sync. The first story is that of Julia Child and her husband (Stanley Tucci). Having arrived in Paris following her husbands job appointment Julia sets about trying to find something to do to occupy herself. Attempts at hatmaking and bridge all fall by the wayside and finally Julia follows her heart and signs up for cookery school. She begins in this masculine dominated world as a firm outsider but quickly and through sheer strength of charachter rivals and exceeds her fellow classmates. We watch the couple, who are devoted to each other, marvelling over the French cuisine and supporting each other. Tucci and Streep. previously paired in the Devil Wears Prada, work beautifully together and have such natural on-screen chemistry. As Julia's culinary expertise improves she meets some like minded cooks who share her desire to bring French cooking to the American housewife. Forming 'les trois gourmandes' the three ladies run a small culinary experience of their own whilst compiling the beginnings of a now infamous cookbook.
Meanwhile we are introduced to Julie Powell (Amy Adams) who lives with her husband and cat in a small flat above a pizza shop with a tiny kitchen. Powell is an unfulfilled writer whose companions and husband all have a vocational direction that she is lacking. Her hobby is cooking and finally she comes to the conclusion that she is going to write a blog over the course of a year and cook her way through the entire recipe collection of Julia Child's book. We follow her culinary trial, tribulations, tantrums and successes as she blogs her way along.
~Julie V Julia~
I have to admit that I really didn't warm to Amy Adams' Julie Powell character. She came across as stroppy, self-centred and a little pathetic. The rapport between her and her husband wasn't particularly dynamic and whilst I quite like the idea of working my way through a cookbook (and clearly it was successful for her as this is a true story, I just didn't warm to her obsession as a character.
On the other hand Meryl Streep's Julia Child was mesmerising, like a cross between Jaime Olivers bung it all in style and the Muppets' Swedish Chef all with a daaaaarrrrlinnng voice and OTT character. I like her so much so that I've bought her butter laden book and whilst I'm genuinely scared by a few of the recipies - others are indeed to die for. Streep played Child with such charm and gusto, for me she really did do this role justice with the perfect amount of bravado and sensitivity.
Stanley Tucci is a perennial favourite of mine and I really enjoyed his role as the supportive husband of this largess lady in all senses of the word. This is a sensitive and warming portrayl.
And so we practically eat our way through this unique tale, salivating at the thought of a delicious boeuf bourginonne. Will Julia get a decent price for publishing her book and will Julie manage to finish her blog and recipie count in time?
I have to admit I was charmed by this tale and enjoyed it far more than was expected, mainly for Streeps' performance but also as it is a true story. I would definitely recommend giving this a viewing it's lovely and lighthearted, not especially girly and is well acted by all.
RELEASED: 2009, Cert.12
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 123 mins
DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: Nora Ephron
PRODUCERS: Nora Ephron, Laurence Mark, Eric Steel & Amy Robinson
MUSIC: Alexandre Desplat
Meryl Streep as Julia Child
Stanley Tucci as Paul Child
Amy Adams as Julie Powell
Chris Messina as Eric Powell
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Adapted from Julie Powell's novel of the same name which is apparently based on the truth, Julie & Julia has a double storyline running throughout. One section is set in the early part of the 21st century where Julie Powell works at a call centre, helping people with various issues resulting from the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack and its aftermath.
As a distraction from her stressful, not always pleasant job and the dreariness of her high-flying, rather pretentious friends, Julie loves to cook and has an obsession with Julia Child, the authoress of a cookery book written for American housewives which instructs them on how to master the art of French cuisine. Julie's husband, Eric, encourages her to start a blog on the internet whereby she challenges herself to work through all the recipes in Julia's book, then records her daily progress onto the blog.
Things start to get a little difficult between Julie and Eric as her obsession with religiously working through Julia's cookbook and reporting on her internet blog drives a wedge between them, de-stablising their otherwise very happy marriage.
The other section of the story is set in what I believe to be the late 1940s and part of the 1950s, and follows the progress of Julia Child who temporarily lives in France with her devoted husband Paul, working her way through a cordon bleu cookery course, then afterwards setting up a cooking school together with a couple of her friends, then writing and managing to publish the very book that Julie enshrines and has become so obsessed with.
That sets the two side-by-side situations as the basis for the film, and to find out more you must watch it for yourself.
When I began to watch Julie & Julia yesterday evening, I was a little surprised to find that the basis for the story is completely different to what I imagined it would be. I was anticipating (with a little hesitancy due to disliking the genre) something along the lines of a couple of 40-something women 'finding themselves', taking time off to have fun away from their stifling and dreary husbands. I certainly wasn't expecting it to be about cooking and how one woman's publication of a recipe book has such a major influence on another, much younger woman's life, without the two having ever met.
It took me a little while to realise that the part of the story which centres around Julia in France is set in a different era to that of Julie in modern-day New York (I did question as to why France seemed so old-fashioned, but the issue of time difference still took a while to seep into my area of understanding). Once I had worked it out, I was more able to settle into the film.
I was very impressed with Meryl Streep's performance as the slightly eccentric Julia - I do feel that since Streep has aged and possibly thus is able to be cast into different roles to those of the days when she was young, slim, blonde and somewhat fluffy, we are now I believe being shown how truly adept an actress she is. Meryl did put on a rather bizarre accent for the role of Julia which sounded a bit American, a bit English and a bit French....I personally would have been more than happy if she'd have kept and used her natural American accent as I don't feel that someone having lived in France for the length of time Julia was supposed to have done, would alter one's usual accent all that much. However, Meryl Streep gave a very fine performance, combining what I'd call an intelligent scatty-ness tempered with a chirpy, kind nature and a down-to-earth, almost dowdy sensibility. The character of Julia put me (just a little) in mind of the late TV cook Fanny Craddock who used to grace our screens back in the 1960s together with her long-suffering husband Johnny glued to her side as she ordered him about left, right and centre. The character of Julia doesn't have Fanny Craddock's feistiness, but I find her no-nonsense approach which is tinged with something that topples into the occasional bout of vagueness, not dissimilar to that of Craddock.
At first, I was a little disconcerted with Amy Adams as Julie Powell as I felt she was coming across as a bimbo amongst her high-flying friends and her street-wise, but very loving husband. However, once it emerged that (regarding her friends) it is Julie herself who is the nice one, I began to warm to her. I could almost feel her despair on the couple of occasions when she put so much time and effort into cooking a fancy meal, yet it went completely wrong. I loved the somewhat soft, gentle character of Julie and could identify with quite a lot of her vulnerabilities. Maybe both the characters of Julie and Julia have vulnerability, but in different ways from one another and Julia tends to keep hers behind closed doors. I also was pleased that Julie's despair at mucking up some of her attempts at Julia's recipes wasn't displayed as over the top hysteria.
I loved the way in which both Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina as Paul Child and Eric Powell respectively played their roles as devoted husbands. Although a couple of generations apart, I could see a distinct similarity in the way they both treated their wives - encouraging them yet simultaneously feeling a little put out when the women's obsession with cooking seemed to push their men aside, yet each of them (the men) rallying round to support the women in their lives simply because they loved them.
I did find the film a little too long and there were points within where my attention began to stray a bit here and there. I feel that a lengthy film can only be justified when the storyline is very gripping, strong and perhaps delivers a potent message; Julie & Julia is lightweight in comparison, so I feel to have condensed it into say 90 minutes' worth of viewing would be an advantage. Julie & Julia is marketed as a comedy/romance, but as far as any laughs are concerned, the film only raised a couple of very slight smiles from me as my sense of humour runs on a completely different track....but, I could strongly link into the romance side as each woman had what for me would be an enviable relationship with her husband.
Overall, I didn't dislike Julie & Julia - it did just about manage to hold my attention to the end despite it wavering a couple of times at about the halfway point, but it isn't what I'd personally think of as being a great film....certainly good, but not great. Most of the skill within centres around characterisation, relying heavily on a competent cast in order to meaningfully portray those characters and make them believable. In that sense, the film accomplishes its mission, but for me does fall down a bit on the humour stakes. I will give an honourable mention to the production team who put across the atmosphere of post WW2 France in a delightful way which I believe is probably historically accurate - I can't confirm that as I wasn't in France at the time....nor was I even born at the beginning of Julia's part of the story.
Julie & Julia isn't a film which I think I'd be in too much of a hurry to watch again as I personally don't feel the story is strong enough to rope me into a second viewing, but I am glad I've now seen it and can declare that it wasn't a waste of time, despite not being quite the type of thing I can get my teeth into and move my soul in some way. I suspect that the film may appeal at least slightly more to women than to men, so if there are any non-males out there who've not yet seen Julie & Julia and would be charmed by a light-hearted, borderline romantic comparison between two women's lives....two women who are probably more than 30 years apart in age, then this could be one for you. It is I suppose one of those films which can be enjoyed on a cold winter's evening whilst your other half is at the pub or working away, and you can comfortably curl up naked on the sofa with a bottle of Thunderbird, the family cat, lots of chocolate and the film of Julie & Julia swivelling around in your DVD player.
At the time of writing, Julie & Julia can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.98 to £16.62
Used: from £1.95 to £11.60
Collectible: Two copies currently available priced at £5.90 and £5.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
I've had a brief hunt through YouTube, and although it appears Julie & Julia has been uploaded in full onto the site, this isn't the case as to click into any clip which claims to be part 1 merely directs you to another website where you would be required to pay a fee to watch it. However, there are plenty of clips/trailers available if you'd like a taster before deciding to make a purchase.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Despite being separated by almost 40 years Julie and Julia seem to have quite a few similarities. They have both worked in a bureaucratic job and they both have a love for cooking. For Julia Child that love of cooking was born out of boredom whilst her husband was based at the US Embassy in Paris and for Julie Powell it was a way to de-stress after a hard day at work. That is until her husband suggests that to give her a challenge she should write a blog and soon the subject of that blog is cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child's cook books in one year and writing all about it.
The film is based on a book of the same name which was written by Julie Powell after undertaking the very challenge mentioned in the plot synopsis above. I have to admit that whilst I found the concept of the film to be interesting I really wasn't sure how I would find the film itself. Having recently watched Amy Adams in Leap Year I also started to really doubt whether this would be any good but as Jen wanted to watch it I thought it can't be that bad, can it? Well actually no it can't and I was pleasantly surprised to be watching a reasonable, not outstanding but certainly reasonable, movie that in places was entertaining and funny, both of which I hadn't been expecting.
The film comes from director Nora Ephron who is perhaps best known for You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. So rather than a dramatic biography with a splattering of comedy I was expecting a slushy romance movie. Thankfully she has moved away from those type of films and with Julie and Julia she has created a film that really brings the story of these two interesting people to life. The basis of the film was adapted from Julie Powell's book and although I haven't read it I would like to think that the majority of the movie is true to the actual events. The lighting and angles used by Ephron work well and in recreating the lives of both women she does a very good job.
I felt that the story behind the movie worked quite well as a big screen adventure but the pace at times was really lacking. There were a few scenes' that didn't really move the plot forward and tended to drag the pace of the story down. These were only occasional but I felt they made a big enough impact to make the film seem a lot longer than it needed to be. The story was well written and well directed and I think for that reason it worked despite these slower moments. Obviously being based on the true story there was no way to change the ending but I really felt that there was something missing that would have just finished the story off rather than leave it hanging but if it didn't happen it is best to leave the real events in the book.
This is the second time in the last couple of weeks that I have seen a movie with Amy Adams in the lead role and I can't believe how different the performances are. In Leap Year her character was instantly dislikeable but this time you really feel for Julie. She portrays the part very well and wins the audience over from very early on. The scene in the restaurant with her friends really sets the scene for the type of person Julie is meant to be and I think Adams pulled the role off remarkably well. My biggest criticism on the acting front goes to the normally ever reliable Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Her performance is totally over the top I found myself quickly losing interest in the story of Julia.
The whole character just seemed really over the top and for me it just didn't work. It wasn't really Strep's acting ability that put e off Julia but more the manner she adopted for her and the voice that she used. It's clear to see that she is a brilliant actress who tried to do something a bit different but on this occasion it just didn't really seem to work. There are reasonable performances from Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina but neither character is used as any more than a foil for the leads and although they work in this role they don't bring anything outstanding to the piece.
Overall I think it would be fair to say that I enjoyed Julie and Julia a lot more than I was expecting, but then my expectations really weren't that high. It is a reasonable film that tells an interesting true story but beyond that it isn't really anything special. The performance of Meryl Streep was a particular disappointment but I felt that Amy Adams really took on the role of Julie Powell very well. At 123 minutes long it does drag on a little and perhaps half an hour less would have been a big help to the overall feel of the movie. It would be fair to say though in summary that this is certainly more of a film for the ladies and boys, if you have to watch it, it isn't quite as bad as you expect.
**** For anyone thats interested the title translates as Mad Cows****
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Julia Childs moves to Paris in 1942 and loves the fact she now lives in the home where the finest cooking in the world is done. She loves cooking and when she gets bored with her life she takes on the challenge from her friends to write a French cooking book in English.
Julie Powell is not happy with her job and loves coming home from work and being able to create a masterpiece in her kitchen. She feels that she never completes anything in her life and so sets herself the challenge of completing all of the recipes in Julie Childs cook book with 1 year. She starts a blog to help her along and soon she is getting a wonderful following.
Back in Paris Julia is finding it hard as she seems to be the only person working on the cookbook and is struggling to get someone to publish it for her.
Can Julia get her cookbook finished and publish and can Julie complete her challenge. Just how far will their love of cooking affect these two women and their loves?
I really was looking forward to seeing this film as I have found all of Meryl Streep's films to be first class over the years and the trailers made this look both interesting and fun, I can honestly say I did thoroughly enjoy the film as so too did my hubby. The story was wonderful and interesting the way is spanned between two completely different time zones and countries and the acting was superb and made it very much more interesting to watch.
Meryl Streep took the role of Julia and she was a joy to watch throughout the film. She was a loud and confident woman who lived life to the full. Her love of cooking was apparent in the way she handled herself in the kitchen and how she would get so excited whilst out shopping. She did however have a very strange accent. One moment she sounded American, the next it was very posh English and there was always a French twang on the words she used. We did get to learn she travelled around Europe so maybe this is why her accent was so strange. It was slightly off putting at the start of the film but I did get used to it. Her character bought a lot of fun to the film and loved the relationship she had with her husband.
Julie was played by Amy Adams and she was the opposite of Julia. She was not confident and was never finishing the jobs she started. She seemed weak at times but always came alive when cooking. I did find her slightly weak and wooden at the very start of the film but once I got to know more about her and her life she was easer to watch and understand and she seemed to loosen up slightly and even start to show some fun. She had a good on screen relationship with her husband and this seemed very genuine and easy to watch. I did enjoy seeing her trying to cook like Julia as this made for some very funny moments.
We had some good support actors in the film and the two which really stood out were Stanley Tucci who played Paul Childs and Chris Messina who played Eric Powell. They were both very different but the same in the way they lost their women to cooking and had to complete with the love for some attention. I found the way they acted and played against these wonderful women was very good.
The story was excellent and separated into two parts. We had 1942 in Paris and 2002 in America. I loved the difference between the two parts of the film and for me the best scenes were the Paris ones. I found the simple way of life and how it was shown to us to be lovely and interesting, the costumes, props and sets were all very well made and extremely detailed and found it quite inspiring to watch Julia cooking with just the basic equipment and none of the fangled stuff we have now. The 2002 side of the story was good but in comparison to the 1942 years it did seems a little dull. The clothes, sets and props were good but for me it lacked the loudness of Paris. I felt the way the 9/11 disaster was written into the story to be unnecessary and slightly off putting. I have to say I could not see this film working if the to lead women had been playing in the opposite roles as Meryl Streep made the role of Julia so suitable for the 1942 setting.
The music throughout was good and very appropriate, there was some substantial difference in the tracks used for each of the settings and it all worked very well. There were no stand out tracks but I did like the ones which were used. We did not have any loud and massive special effects in the film and none were needed as there is no action in the film.
This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The film has a run time of 123 minutes and I thought this was a good length with the story moving at a steady pace throughout. The rate is a 12A and I do think this is suitable. The DVD can be bought for around the £10 mark and I do think this is quite reasonable. It is currently being shown on Sky movies so try to catch it there for free.
I am more than happy to give this film the full 5 stars as it was very enjoyable to watch. The story was good and worked with the time difference and the acting was excellent. You really don't need to have a love of cooking to enjoy this film as hubby loved it just as much as me.
Julie and Julia is an American drama/comedy movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The movie was released in the United Kingdom in 2009 and is currently available to buy from Amazon for just under £5 which I think is good value.
Julie is a young writer who is stuck in an unpleasant job. She decideds to cook every recipie from a famous cook book , and blogs about it. On the other hand, Julia is a cook who begings working on a book based on French cooking for American housewives. The film follows both women's seperate lives, when soon Julie's blog becomes famous. What will happen? Watch Julie and Julia to find out.
First of all, if you love food then I would definately recommend this film to you as it is all about food, with a couple of extra ingredients such as comedy thrown in. I found it really hard to get through this movie without feeling hungry ; it makes you so hungry watching them cook all that delicious food. I could believe how great the 'attention to detail' was with the food in the movie ; very good!
I did not know of the 'Julie and Julia' story beforehand (I still don't know much about them, apart from what I learnt in the film). I still can't believe that the story is based on two real-life ladies. Apparently there are two American television cooks who this film is based on which I think is interesting. Despite not knowing about them beforehand, I still managed to 'get' the film.
This is the perfect film for ladies who love to cook ; it really inspires you to go into the kitchen and home-cook something. I think that this film is great for 'mature' ladies, as there will be so much that they will be able to relate to. It's also nice that there is a film aimed at the more 'mature' generation, as when you think about it, a lot of films these days are aimed at teenagers.
After seeing and loving the film version of the 'Mamma Mia' musical which Meryl Streep starred in, I said that I would be on the lookout for her other films. Whilst at first I didn't really see the film as my kind of film, I still wanted to see it, just to see what Meryl Streep was like in another film. I am glad that I did eventually see it, as I really enjoyed it.
I thought that the acting in this movie was really good!! They two characters came across as very believeable , you would really believe that they were cooks. They also had great on-screen chemistry that you could imagine them being best friends in real life. I will certainly be looking out for more films like this in the future.
The movie is a 12 , which means that it must not be seen by persons under the age of 12.
Thanks for reading :)
October 21st 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
I had wanted to see this film since it was released at the cinema last year, however as always I never got round to it so added it to my online DVD rental list. I was very happy when it arrived last week and I couldnt wait to sit down and watch it. This is a film only review.
It is 2002. Julie Powell is an employee for the government and she is finding her job very stressful. She is currently dealing with those affected by the 9/11 disaster and she is finding it very tough. The only release she has is cooking and she finds that it chills her out in the evening.
She has recently come across Julia Childs cook book and she is amazed by the recipes within it. Chatting to her husband one evening he suggests that she should attempt to cook all of the recipes in the book. She thinks this is a great idea and something she would really like to do. Therefore, she vows to cook all of the recipes (I think its 524) in just one year.
In order to track her progress, Julie begins writing a blog and it soon seems that cooking is her primary issue in life.
I had very high expectations of this film and I am pleased to say it lived up to them. I knew what the film was about and I thought it was a fabulous story. I believe the film is based on a book and the book is based on a real life experience. If this is indeed the case I am keen to read the book the film is based on as I think it will be a brilliant read.
I loved the character of Julie throughout the film, she was down to earth and very loveable. Her goal was clear and she worked very hard to try and reach it. Alongside her cooking, she also maintained her full time job so you can imagine how tiring it must have been.
I thought it was brilliant the way we watched Julies progress alongside Julias. Julia struggled to get her book published and we watched her progress alongside Julies, despite their journeys being 50 years apart.
Although the film is based around cooking, its not a film where you will be learning recipes! Instead, it focuses more on the progress and the lives of both women and you will learn to love them both very much.
I thought the plot of the film was very interesting and it flowed really well. There was always something going on which meant there was something to focus on.
The acting in the film was superb. The title roles are played by Meryl Streep and Amy Adams who are both brilliant actresses. They really made the characters their own and they were enjoyable to watch.
The film was released in 2009.
It stars Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina.
It is rated a 12.
It runs for 123 minutes.
IMDB gives the film a rating of 7.2/10 (22,824 votes).
The DVD is available from Amazon for less than £5.
Very enjoyable film, well worth a watch
When I started watching this movie I was a complete stranger to both Julia Child and Julie Powell, the two people whose stories it is based on. It says something about the movie that when I finished it I looked both of them up eager to know more about their lives. Julie and Julia is based on, as I mentioned before, the lives of Julia Child, an American chef and author famous for introducing French cooking to the American public, and Julie Powell, a middle class American woman who rose to fame blogging about her attempt to tackle all the recipes in Child's famous book 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' in a year.
Julie and Julia shifts between two eras, portraying each woman's journey to her goal, one set in 1950s France and the other in modern day New York. In Julia Child's case, it depicts her struggle to 'master' French cooking in the male dominated world of the French culinary arts in the 1950s and the consequent writing and publishing of her cookbook. For Julie Powell it is a personal quest to bring meaning into her life that leads her to attempt the 524 recipes from Child's book in one year, recording the journey in her blog.
Meryl Streep plays Child in a performance that earned her an Oscar nomination bringing the character to life as a larger than life personality with a steely determination to achieve her goal. We get an insight into her life with her husband, Paul, and her deep love for food as well as a glance at the France of that time. Amy Adams, whom I was not a big fan of before this, plays Julie Powell and is so adorable and absolutely beautiful in that role that I couldn't help liking the character too. The movie shows how Powell's life is completely taken over with this project and how it affects her various relationships specially with her husband, Eric. In fact Amy Adams is probably the reason I didn't dislike Powell whose selfish treatment of her too-good-to-be-true husband angered me on several occasions in the film.
As you can probably tell from my review, I really enjoyed this film and not just because of my obsession with food. The characters are real and the acting brilliant, making you root for them. I felt myself cheering Child on as she tried to beat all the men in her cooking class and prayed with Powell while she waited for her food to cook. My favourite character in the movie has to be Eric though, the 'sainted husband' as she calls him. I confess, only because he is such a sweetheart in the face of his wife's obsession. Some people might find Julie and Julia a bit slow but I found it engrossing enough. In fact I even started reading the original blog it is based on (The Julie/Julia Project) and found it as entertaining as the movie.
Julia Child: Meryl Streep
Julie Powell: Amy Adams
Paul Child: Stanley Tucci
Eric Powell: Chris Messina
Run Time: 123 minutes
In 1949, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is living in Paris with her husband Paul Child (Stanley Tucci). Paul is a diplomat, and they frequently have to move wherever his job takes him, all over the world. Julia is a housewife and is left at home wondering how to spend her days in her new country. She tries hat making, bridge, and then cooking lessons at the now renowned Cordon Bleu. There she discovers her passion for food. She excels in her lessons, passes exams and even starts to teach with the help of some friends. The friends decide to put their recipes together and write a book to educate people in their homeland of America about their experiences of cooking in the culinary capital of the world.
Intertwined with this in 2002 we meet, Julie Powell (Amy Adams). She is about to turn 30 and works as a depressing telephone operator in a cubicle consoling and helping people affected by the 911 terrorist attacks. She is underemployed and has an unpublished novel to her name. She is in need of a distraction and something to give her life some meaning. She decides to cook her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" written by none other than Julia Child, whom she adored, worshipped and looked up to while growing up with her family. She challenges herself to complete all 524 recipes in the next 365 days and to log her thoughts and experiences in a blog.
We go back and forth between these stories of two women learning to cook and finding success. It shows them enjoying their passion but also both overcoming problems and tough times. Julia has to prevail over sexism in her classes, the language barrier, stubborn publishers and emotionally about not having any children. Julie too has her problems. She lives in a dingy, cramped flat over a pizzeria and is not getting any fulfillment from her work. The story shows how the two womens passion for cooking helps them to overcome their troubles. The two storylines are carefully knitted together to show the similar difficulties the women have in trying to achieve their goals. They are both very ambitious and are full of desire to succeed with their quests.
Their husbands play a pivotal role in the film. They both stand by their wives, are very sympathetic and offer emotional support when needed. The parts played by the husbands really is quite touching.
For those that don't know I should point out that this film is based on a true story. Julia Child did write this cook book and Julie Powell did attempt to cook her way through it. I did some research on YouTube after watching this film to see what Julia Childs was really like. Unsurprisingly, she is just as Meryl Streep portrayed her; big hearted, quite loud and very bubbly.
Meryl Streep gives yet another superb performance as Julia. She always seems to deliver, no matter what the role. It seems she can do anything, even grow a few inches. In this film she stands over 6 feet tall, which is way above her actual height. She comes across with a loud and high-pitched voice and exaggerated accent, just as Julia did. She captures Julia's warmth and charm very convincingly.
Amy Adams gives a warm, comedic and fine performance. She comes across as a sweet and adorable girl who is very loving, and you really want her to succeed. It was a strong performance and she wasn't outshone by the brilliant Streep at all.
Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina also give great supporting roles as the husbands. They are both very convincing, supporting their wives with their goals and being their for them when the going gets tough.
Overall I found Julie & Julia to be a truly delightful film. Streep is on top form and the food really does look great. The telling of the two separate stories is very neatly done, and you are able to follow both storylines quite easily. The one let down for me was the end. I'm not going to go into any detail, but I thought the ending was out of character for Julia and left me feeling a little flat. However, this doesn't take away from a good film that is both funny and heartfelt. It's probably more of a film for the girls, and I don't think that too many other guys will enjoy it as much a I did. You certainly don't have to be a culinary whizz to enjoy it.
Film: Julie & Julia
Director: Nora Ephron
Running Time: 123 mins
Price: £6 at Amazon and Tesco
I watched this the other day on my own as a bit of light relief from revision as it had been something I had wanted to watch for a while and I knew I would never get my boyfriend to watch it with me. Probably a good thing as to be honest, I know he wouldn't have enjoyed it.
I thought overall this film was ok, not great though and not something I would ever watch again really. It stars Amy Adams (as Julie) and Meryl Strep as Julia Childs and basically Julie is a bored young married woman who is bored in her job and all of her friends are more successful than she is, and Julia is the wifee of an American ambassador who finds herself bored in Paris when her husband gets posted there so she gets into cooking.
Julia ends up writing a book on french cooking, and Julie makes all of the 500odd recipes from it in one year and blogs about it (her friends all have blogs you know..). They are set in different eras and different countries but it is really about to women who find their passions for food.
I thought that the ending was rubbish. I don't want to spoil this film for you at the end though we never found out what Julia thought of Julies blog and her personal challenge, apparantly she hated it, but had probably never read it. I think it would have been nice to know about that.
This story was based on a book which I think is based on a true story. At the end it tells you about Julia and her husband and when they died etc which made the story feel more real and not purely fictional.
There were some good camera tricks in this film like to make Julia seem really tall, I would like to see the extended features on this film but my copy didnt have any with it. This made it interesting though as I was interested in how they did things and foreve looking for where the massive shoes were!
All of the acting was really good, as was the cooking and the descriptons of the food and the recipes, I think this was actually the first time a film has made me hungry for a proper proper meal!
I reccomend it if you have nothing else to watch or you get the chance to borrow it, but I wouldn't buy it because it was good, but nothing too special.
I had wanted to see this when it was at the cinema and never got change so eagerly awaited the DVD. Meryl Streep adds vitality and fun to any role and she was quirky as the original Julia Child. Her story was certainly the most interesting part of the film and relationship with her husband, which came to her late in life was touching.
This was definitely made more interesting by the fact that it was a true story as present day American Julie Powell took it upon herself to make every recipe in Julia Child's hefty cook book within the space of a year recording the results on a blog. In real life following on from the success of the blog, then book, the author has left her dull office job and become a journalist; I recently read her articles on infidelity in the Observer.
The parallels between the two characters, neither were accomplished cooks at the start of the film but learnt by trial, error and most of all determination was the heart of the story.
After having been seriously harassed by my sister (whose mantra was, "you'll love the movie, you'll see!!"), I had to take a break from my uni stuff to watch the film last night. And I have to admit that she was right. I did love it. It was exactly the kind of movies that I usually go for, even minus the romance factor. Julie and Julia represent the embodiment of dreams, hopes and working hard towards achieving your goals. But more than it, it is the representation of the classic notion of the American dream- but with a couple of interesting twists. Meryl Streep was amazing, as usual. Her performance was seriously beyond reproach, according to me. Having said that, once I managed to tear my eyes away from such overt display of talent, I would say that the rest of the cast did an equally great job- especially Amy Adams- but were sadly out shadowed by Streep. The film is based off a novel- which is based off a true story so the enchanting, wow-factor was certainly present throughout!
Julie Powell is a young, wannabe writer who is trying to make it. Fed up with her disenchanting job, she takes her fury out on cooking all night. One day, she decides to undertake a project and cook every single Julia Child recipe ever in 365 days- and blog about it.
Julia Child is a quirky woman who falls in love with France and cooking. Out of pure boredom, she takes up cooking classes to "have something to do." This soon leads to her co-writing a cookbook. But then begins the challenge of trying to get published.
The movie then presents a constant parallel between the life of these two different women, from drastically different ages- but who are still joined by their love for cooking and writing.
The whole film was presented in such a way that it felt like I was watching two films at once. But I really admired the way in which the producers depicted two stories, but still managed to retain enough common ground between Julie and Julia to stop the film was being overwhelming .I particularly loved the old fashioned theme in Julia's story, and it was sustained by classic French touches. Meryl Streep was really the one for such a role. She looked plumper than usual, and this adds an endearing dimension to her. I couldn't help but compare her to the Ice woman that she was in Devil Wears Prada and the contrast between such drastically different roles were amazing- and only bears testimony to her excellent acting skills.
Amy Adams was seriously out shadowed by her co-star's natural talent, but I have to say that she did quite a nice job too. Not as excellent as M.S but I loved the manner in which she projected an image of a girl who was completely disenchanted with life, especially at the start of the film. While Streep depicted her story via a charming French backdrop, Julie (Amy Adams' character) was represented through some rather serious thematic features built upon the classic notion of the American Dream. This is the one theme that makes it almost impossible for me to really set a genre to this film: It seems like a drama, dark drama, comedy, and romance mingled in one.
Meryl Streep as Julia Child
Amy Adams as Julie Powell
Stanley Tucci as Paul Child
Chris Messina as Eric Powell
Linda Edmond as Simone Beck
Helen Carey as Louisette Bertholle
Behind the Scenes
Overall, I would seriously recommend this film to everyone. It is according to me, one of the greatest depictions about ambitions, dream and achieveing your goals. The cast is marvellous and the movie moves at am extremely smooth pace.
Thanks for reading!
Meryl Streep is an actress who seems to have no bounds whatsoever. Is there something this woman can't do? She can act, we already know that and there are around 90 awards (including two Oscars, a BAFTA, numerous Golden Globes, a Silver Berlin Bear, a Cannes Best Actress Award) and even more nominations to support her achievements. She is more than capable of handling both drama ("Sophie's Choice") and comedy ("The Devil Wears Prada"), she can be a leading ("Doubt") or supporting character ("Rendition"), she can sing ("Postcards from the Edge") and recently we learned she can also dance as well ("Mamma Mia!") The title "greatest living actress" doesn't come easily but Meryl has no doubt earned this and she continues to marvel and dazzle the audience with a never-ending stream of magnificent performances. With "Julie and Julia" Meryl proves once again she is capable of anything and that no matter what anyone says, she is a legendary, unique actress.
So who is this "Julia"? The name refers to Julia Child. She was the most celebrated, beloved American chef who gained worldwide recognition with her cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and her long-running TV programme "The French Chef." Meryl Streep is the one portraying Child, her stay in France with her husband, her initial intrigue and interest in food in general, her days in a tough, competitive, somewhat sexist cooking school, and her eventual rise to fame. What about this "Julie"? This is Julie Powell, an American author who created an internet blog in which she wrote down the various stories surrounding her attempt to cook all the recipes of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year. Gaining a huge following, she landed a book deal and wrote "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen." Amy Adams, the innocent, delightful and forever charming actress is Julie, the woman who worships the legendary cook Julia Child, with an unfulfilling, depressing job, wanting a good distraction in life, determined to cook all the recipes in just one year. Of course, both women are supported by reliable husbands, Julia by Paul (Stanley Tucci) and Julie by Eric (Chris Messina).
Two different women, two different timelines, one similar passion for cooking. They both have goals in life, they have ambition and they never take no for an answer. The two separate storylines are carefully woven together to show the similar difficulties and various bumps these vastly different characters had to go through in order to reach their triumphant finish lines. For Julia, her sex and nationality were an issue, for Julie, her lack of confidence and faith in herself, as well as the martial problems that eventually come to get in the way of her project. In all fairness, the Julia storyline is probably the more interesting, deeper one than Julie's which sometimes can feel more like a chick-flick than anything else. It definitely would have been possible to make a single, serious biographical film out of just Julia Child's life, but Julie's storyline is not at all without merit. Thanks to the warm and comic performance from Adams, her plotline provides not only humour but her scenes with Messina, with whom she shares a great chemistry, can also bring about some pleasantly warm and fuzzy atmosphere, something to be expected from a romantic-comedy.
But the performance worth praising is Meryl Streep's, who has undergone some incredible transformation that makes her look positively huge (Julia Child stood at 6'2" whereas Meryl's height is a mere 5'6") and her mimicry of Child is a brilliant, uncanny one. Her high-pitched voice and distinct way of speaking is perfectly captured by Streep, and having seen some Child's cooking shows, Streep never falters for a second. She is so funny, so delightful and so moving. But her performance is never just about the mimicry. There are hints throughout Julia's storyline that the couple is childless and it's almost definite that nothing will ever change that. Streep is also onboard with this detail and when required, adds subtle yet powerful hints moments of her inner pain and perhaps regret to her performance. How Sandra Bullock managed to beat Streep for that Best Actress Oscar is anyone's guess.
Although Adams does provide some off-beat comedy and sweet moments, it's undeniable that her character is often too adorable, and too perky for the final few scenes in the film to work. Without giving too much away, let's just say that Julie's personality comes under fire at some point and this is hard to believe, as we've only seen the ambitious, enchanting Adams, never the bitchy, feisty quality that seems to make Julie slightly less likable. But the film suddenly forces this on us, a completely unexpected, new revelation that makes very little sense.
However "Julie & Julia" is a delightful treat for the eyes and the ears. The magnificent performances aside, the food also looks great, which, let's face it, is always something important in a film portraying the French culinary arts. Nora Ephron who can sometimes alienate the male population of the audience with her girlie direction loses those qualities and makes this a perfect viewing for anyone who appreciates a fascinating set of two, not just one, love stories, fabulous performances or some good food.
Julie & Julia
A movie about two different women who are connected through their passion.
Running: 123 minutes
Director: Nora Ephron
Country: United States
Meryl Streep as Julia Child
Amy Adams as Julie Powell
Stanley Tucci as Paul Child
Chris Messina as Eric Powell
Jane Lynch as Dorothy McWilliams
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Sarah
The story Julie & Julia
The story is about two women. Julie Powel who lives in the year 2002 and Julia Child who lives in the year 1961. Julie lives in New York together with her boyfriend, but is very unlucky with her work and miss a goal in her life. She's looking for a new challenge and finds a passion what connects her with Julia: Cooking! Julia Child wrote a cookbook in the 60's called 'Mastering the art of French Cooking'. Julie decides to prepare every single meal in the cookbook in a year and to write about it in a blog. At the same time the movie follows Julia Child in writing her book. She lives in Paris where she moved with her husband, due his job. She doesn't have any friends and nothing to do, so she decides to follow her passion and goes to a cooking school to learn about the French cooking and ends up with a cooking book. But the cook has 536 recipes! Will Julie succeed?
I really enjoyed the acting with the known Meryl Streep in the lead as Julia Child. Julia Child is a happy loud woman who we see in the 60's. In this period it was expected as a wife to be a housewife and get children. Only Julia has the burden that she can't get any children. When they move to Paris, she needs to find something to do and decides to cook. First she gets laughed at by the idea of becoming a chef in the French cooking, because she's a woman. But she's not one to take lightly but proves everybody wrong. I loved Meryl Streep in this part and thought so was very convincing in her role. She really looks like a woman of the 60's with her hair and clothing but also her whole personage. She doesn't look at all at Meryl Streep and i love her voice, which is really loud and high. Amy Adams plays the part of Julie Powell, a writer that takes on the challenge to cook all the recipes in the book of Julia in one year. Julie is someone who's unhappy with her job and finds a way out in cooking but it's certainly not easy. Amy really plays the part well and you can really notice the frustration with the cooking and her job and boyfriend. I really enjoyed the acting.
The movie is based on a real life story where the writer Julie Powell commits to the challenge to prepare 536 recipes in one year and to put her progress on her blog. That blog became very famous and eventually the story has been made into a movie in 2009. I really liked the movie, which contains humour and drama, because both woman are unhappy in their lives and try to find a way out in cooking. Both new in the French kitchen make sure that not everything goes well but we also follow Julia in publishing her book. Its quiet funny to see both lives are connected trough one passion but differs in anything else. When I heard of this movie I thought this was a typical woman movie, but thankfully it's not. It's a really funny movie and very enjoyable to watch. I loved Meryl Streep but also Amy Adams was very good. I really recommend this movie.