Tonight I went to see Julie & Julia with my family. We went to the 10 p.m. showing at a local theater and despite the late time were surprised that the theater we were in was empty except for ourselves. This was amazing considering all the press that has come out promoting the film.
I started reading Julia’s book, My Life in France in anticipation of the film, but was unable to read it through before the film came out. So far it has been exceptional and eye opening, providing insight into the legendary cook that goes way beyond her successful TV shows and books. I’ll admit that I was less excited to hear about Julie Powell’s story and introduction to cooking. Yes, she and I have many commonalities with respect to writing a blog food and our learning to cook, and perhaps our egotistical view that anyone should care to read our blog, but I could not find any additional contributions to the food world from her big or small post blog except for her story which has become a film. Perhaps our desires and goals are different, but I believe in give and take when it comes to anything in life, and that each student has a duty to teach what they have learned to make the world a better place. This I intend to do in the future.
I was not swayed by the onslaught of press that has come out for the film. I chose not to read any reviews and go in with an open mind and with only a cursory idea of what it was about. Often hype ruins a movie.
Acting for both personalities was great. Amy Adams is sweet and likable as she portrays Julie Powell in this film. Meryl Streep provides a convincing and enjoyable performance as Julia Child. The acting is where I feel the film’s merits end. The Powell side of the story was definitely weaker than the Julia Child portion. The director did a great job of weaving both stories together in a non-confusing way and in the end did the best she could making a movie as my father put it “out of a story with no plot”.
Julia Child’s culinary legend is unlikely to be matched by anyone. Being able to top what she has done for cooking in society is a feat nearly impossible to top. She was an amazing person who left an amazing legacy, helping America and the world embrace the kitchen again. With the bar set high, she provides inspiration for us all to be the best we can and help others be at their best as well. Even though the movie was not a ten, it’s easy going and worth seeing even if only to be inspired. The fact that it exists is an indicator of how far and how important food has become in our society. If only it had more about Julia or perhaps if it was just a movie about her life would it have scored higher.