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Julie and Julia (DVD)
Member Name: wigglylittleworm
Julie and Julia (DVD)
Advantages: nice story, nice scenes of Paris
Disadvantages: Meryl Streep annoyed me
Julie Powell's life is in a bit of a rut. She is nearing her 30th birthday and sick of living in a poky little apartment in a bad part of town and dealing with abuse from the public over the phone in her job in a government department. There is one thing in her life which gives her pleasure and that is cooking, there's nothing she likes more after a long day at the office to come home and read through her cookbooks and whip up some delicious morsels for her husband and friends. There is one old cookery book in particular that she loves, The Art Of French Cooking by Julia Child and she sets herself the challenge of cooking all the recipes from this book over the course of a year while writing a blog about her experiences in the kitchen. Things do not always go smoothly over the year, her relationship with her husband starts to suffer under the strain and the media pick up on her idea alerting her boss to the real reason she skipped work. Will one woman manage to complete this feat in her tiny ill-equipped kitchen without destroying the rest of her life in the process?
The film alternates between telling Julie's story in the noughties with Julia's story in the 1950's. I had never heard of Julia Child before seeing the film, it seems that she is some kind of American cooking icon, a bit like our Delia Smith but she is so well known in the USA that she has an exhibition devoted to her work at the Smithsonian museum. She was a bored housewife who took up cookery classes to pass the time while her husband worked in the French embassy in Paris. Her determination lead her to studying at the famous Le Cordon Blue despite speaking almost no French, being the only woman in the class and the tutor telling her she had no aptitude for cooking. It follows this remarkable ladies life through all of the ups and downs of life as an ambassadors wife while writing and attempting to get published, a French cookbook for the American market.
The film not only highlights the similarities between the two woman's lives; they had both moved for the sake of their husbands career and the obvious love of food and cooking but also highlights the differences too. Life for a blogger in the 21st century who can communicate with the world at the touch of a few keys on her laptop is very different from that of an American in Paris relying on snail mail and telegrams for information. The scenes shot in Paris were wonderful and really give a fantastic feel of what it was like to live in the city during the 1950's with every detail down to the costumes and furnishings being perfect.
I normally really enjoy Meryl Streep's acting but I felt that she was overacting the part of Julia sometimes and that the character came across as a bit of a stereotyped eccentric who I could not fully warm to even though I found her amusing. I also found myself getting a bit irritated with the character and acting at times but not so much as to significantly spoil my enjoyment of the film overall. This is in contrast to Amy Adams who played Julie perfectly and I adored the quirky, driven young woman trying to find her niche in the world.
If you are going to see this film I advise that you eat first. I was sitting munching away at my popcorn practically salivating at some of the culinary masterpieces on the screen especially the delicious looking chocolate cakes. I have never had any interest in French cooking before but have been inspired to look up some recipes and try them for myself.
Julie and Julia is a very girly film which explores two womens lives with insight, humour, tenderness and cake! I found it a really enjoyable film to watch and I'm sure it will appeal to many of you out there.
Summary: A film about cooking.