Julie & Julia (2009)
Dir: Nora Ephron
When I started my 365 film challenge this year, I had about four or more people independently mention this film and liken it to what I’m doing, and so today I sat down to watch it.
For those that don’t know, Julie & Julia is based on two true stories, the first of cookbook writer Julia Child, and the other, of Julie, a woman in 2002 New York who decides to blog her way through making each of the recipes in Child’s book over a year.
The director, the late Nora Ephron, is better known for films such as ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, and for writing ‘When Harry Met Sally’, so feel-good is what I was expecting from this, and that’s what I got. Especially for someone in my position, doing a self-set challenge very much comparable to that in the film, I found it especially relevant and somewhat inspiring.
The film itself was very enjoyable, with on-point writing, but raised to a higher level thanks to the acting. Meryl Streep was nominated for a best leading actress Oscar for her role as Julia Child, and it was excellent, a great interpretation of a unique woman. However, for me, Amy Adams as Julie Powell was the character that really brought it all together and made the story work so well. This may be possibly because I related to her character more, or that she was playing the writer of the book the film was based upon, and this actually held the main source material together more in that way. I can’t be quite sure without a repeat viewing. Still, the entire assembled cast worked very well, Stanley Tucci was as usual excellent, incredibly likeable as the supportive Mr Child.
I personally don’t have a consuming job, nor a wife that I am neglecting by typing this now, I do (like the Powells) have a cat, but she has been fed and is asleep on my bed. This film however beautifully showed a portrayal of spousal relationships, and how collaboration often achieves wonderful things. Both lead characters were supported to explore doing what they enjoyed, which then became their strengths and while challenging still something they found great pleasure in doing, cooking and writing about it. I am playing to my strength, watching films… I just hope that some skill in writing about it will develop.
Update: White writing this blog post, the bacon I was meant to be ‘slowly grilling’ went and slowly burnt! There’s a lesson to be learnt here, something about taking care when blogging about someone blogging about cooking… There goes my inspiration to cook out the window, back to watching films it is then!