Saturday, February 6, 2010

Julie and Julia (2009)

Meryl Streep delights in this merging of two real-life stories. Amy Adams however....

Julie Powell is not happy. She works for a development center where she has to answer phone calls from people affected by 9/11, unable to work towards her goal of being a writer. At her husband's suggestion she begins a blog that chronicles her journey through Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Julia Child's landmark cookbook. The challenge is that she must cook every recipe within one year. Meanwhile, we get to see how Julia Child discovered French cooking and slowly but surely became the Julia Child so beloved by America.

The parts with Julia Child are easily the best parts of the film, with Meryl Streep fully embodying the warbly-voiced cooking maven. She doesn't try to add any sort of darkness to Julia Child, instead playing her as America remembers her, witty and full of life and a love for food (And according to Meryl Streep, she injects her mother into the performance as well). Stanley Tucci is great as Julia's supportive and adoring husband, and their relationship is beautiful to watch.

The parts about Julie Powell, however, aren't as successful. And before I go on, I must tell you that I love Amy Adams. Really, I adore her, and this movie actually made me find her slightly irritating. Something that in my book, is unforgivable. She just comes across as so selfish and treats her husband so poorly whenever a mistake occurs when she's cooking. Granted, a point of the film is that this whole blog process changes her, but with her being so grating, it's hard to really care if she changes or not.

Luckily for us, the film is greater than the sum of its parts, with the verve and zest for life injected into the film by Meryl Streep causing the film to ultimately leave a good taste in our mouths.

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