Friday, November 20, 2009

Julie & Julia

Julie and Julia was released in Canada on August 7, 2009. Amy Adams was Julie Powell, and of course, Julia Child was mastered by my gal, Meryl Streep.

The movie is the crafty intermingling of two entirely charming stories. Nora Ephron weaves the tale of Julia Child's development as a chef and author, with the story of Julie Powell, as articulated in her personal blog, cooking her way through Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's a fun watch. Politics and class-consciousness aplenty... culture... humor... beurre... and romance, if contemplating Julia Child as a sexual being is not too disturbing. Meryl does make it easier.

It's early for Oscar buzz, and this film has made minimal noise so far. The early release date is no doubt a factor. But let's be honest. A pre-schooler using a cheap cell phone could record Meryl Streep napping in an airport and it would be worth at least a nod. As usual, she was just brilliant. I saw the film on opening day, and the first time Streep opened her mouth as Julia Child the theatre fell apart with affectionate laughter. Streep's problem is that she is eternally competing against herself. She has another flick due for release on Christmas Day, but beyond that, the standards to which we hold her are beyond the marker for any other competitor. That said, a nomination is not a long shot here. Adams was mediocre, Chris Messina was adequate as usual, and Stanley Tucci was great. In fact, depending on the competition, his performance as Paul Child may get him consideration for Best Supporting. Screenplay may be an option. I would not have given this one Best Picture thoughts, but with the Academy proposing a pool of ten this year, who knows?

Julie and Julie was just wonderful. Don't see it hungry.

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