Watch This: Julie and Julia

4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully delicious

In 1949, Julia and Paul Child moved to Paris. For a while, newly unemployed, Julia flounders about for something to do, and finally hits upon cooking. It’s France, after all. In 2004, Julie and Eric Powell moved to Queens, NY. Julie thought she’d become a writer, but has become stalled in a depressing job answering calls for the post 9/11 World Trade Center. She flounders about for some meaning in her life, and finally starts a blog, for which she will attempt to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in one years time. It’s not Paris, after all. Julie and Julia juxtaposes the stories of these two cooks. Meryl Streep, in the sort of virtuoso performance we’ve come to expect from her, is spot on, and very effective, in her portrayal of Julia. Amy Adams has the simpler task, and brings a pleasing credibility to her role as Julie. Julia sets out to become a teacher and ends up a writer, going on to make history. Julie sets out to become a writer, and what sort of mark she will make remains to be seen. Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina are well cast as the respective well-fed, supportive husbands. Sets, scenery, and costumes are picture perfect, with subtle lighting and period charm. Scripting is deft, balancing sincerity and humor, but a bit cloying at times – the Childs could not possibly have so perfectly sustained such buoyant optimism and unflagging empathy in the face of their setbacks. Julia, of course, made history, and it remains to be seen what sort of mark Julie will make. In their film, these women demonstrate what personal effort, genuine love, and a bit of luck can accomplish. Don’t miss it. And don’t go hungry!

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