August 09, 2009
Loved this one too!
I saw yet another great movie last night - Julie & Julia. Love love LOVED it!
The premise of the movie is pretty simple, but it gave a surprising amount of insight into the life of Julia Child: her previous employment, her loving husband, their world travels, and her comical but aggressive performance at Le Cordon Bleu. The scenes in Paris are simply delightful. It's unoccupied Paris after the fall of the Nazis, with its old cars, flowers in windows, outdoor markets, wine, cigarettes and lilting accordion music.
There are a few great performances by the actors in this movie. I won't say Amy Adams was one of them. But this is not really her fault. After watching the scenes rotate between romantic 1950s Paris with a culinary legend, and cynical post-9/11 Queens with a frustrated, impotent secretary who doesn't have much personality, you just yearn for more Julia, more Paris, more giggling and whisking. In Amy Adams' defense, though, that was the character of Julie. By definition she was kind of lost and had no real calling or talent, and when the movie tries to parallel the two women, as the story calls for, you might find yourself just impatiently sitting through the scenes, waiting for the next time Meryl graces the silver screen.
And, really, we all know Meryl Streep can do drama. She is a living legend. But who knew she could be so devastatingly funny? Meryl is more Julia Child than the real Julia, if that's possible. The way she walks, holds a basket in the crook of an elbow, gesticulates with a knife, kisses her husband, shuffles down the street... she becomes another person.
And that voice! Probably just second behind her food, Julia Child's voice was truly famous. She had an oddly high-pitched, yet resounding, rounded voice that sounded vaguely British, yet American, and drew out vowels and had an infectious laugh. And Meryl did it. She did it in a more lively, laughable way than I could have imagined.
There is also a lot of unexpected tenderness between Julia and her husband Paul, played by Stanley Tucci, who is also wonderful. Stanley showed how much Paul loved his goofy, talented, freakishly tall wife, and their many scenes together are magical, even more so than in The Devil Wears Prada.
Another film I highly recommend, this one will not only make you feel great, but also wish for a doting husband (if you don't have one), and make you want to Master the Art of French Cooking.