By Gil Whiteley, DENVER DAILY NEWS
‘Julie & Julia’
7 stars out of 10
I’m a foodie, and I love films about food and the preparation of food, so “Julie & Julia” was one I was looking forward to.
The movie is based on two books, “My Life in Paris” by Julia Child and “Julie & Julia” by Julie Powell.
The film bounces back and forth between the two lives of these women, which are being lived decades apart.
Nora Ephron (director) is a master storyteller and handles the two stories deftly. She pulled off separate stories in 1993’s “Sleepless in Seattle” masterfully, and this is her best film since.
Meryl Streep does a better Julia Child than Julia Child. She is well past parody or an impression but inhabits Child. Amy Adams has made her mark as an actress and has taken Hollywood by storm since her breakout role in “Junebug” just four year ago.
The first time I saw Adams perform, she was playing Rizzo in “Grease” at Denver’s Country Dinner Playhouse. Since then she has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has won many acting awards. Amy hails from Castle Rock and has a career that she could have never dreamed of.
Adams is Julie, a young woman who has no real direction in her life and can’t seem to finish anything. She is in one of the most depressing jobs ever — she has to listen to stories from the survivors of 9-11 for an insurance company. She wants to be a writer but is lost in this dead-end job, while her girlfriends are all enjoying successful careers.
Her husband, Eric (Chris Messina), encourages her to write a blog about anything, but she doesn’t know what to write about. She is a food lover and loves to cook, but she’s not an accomplished chef by any means. She finds a copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child. It’s encyclopedic, but she decides to prepare every recipe in the book in exactly one year, then write about it daily on her blog.
Julie struggles with her blog, not knowing if anyone is even reading her efforts, but eventually she is writing to thousands of people each day, and the pressure is on. She idolizes Child, and is painstakingly unwavering to the book and makes every dish, which sometimes have disastrous outcomes.
Julia is living with her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) in Paris in the late 1940s and early ’50s. She is also a lost soul who desperately wants to make something of herself and takes an advanced course in French cooking — only previously taken by men. Child teams up with a couple of French women to write a book on French cooking for American women, in English, which had never been done — the very same book, that Julie is working from 40 years later.
I hate to label this a chick flick, but it is. However, if you’re a guy who likes to cook, you’ll enjoy this immensely.
Gil Whiteley reviews films and writes sports columns for the Denver Daily News. Listen to Gil Whiteley everyday at noon on “Gil and Woody” on AM 1510 KCKK. Respond to this column at email@example.com.
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