Sunday, 14 November 2010

Film Review: JULIE & JULIA (2009)

Director: Nora Ephron
Running time: 119 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

UK release date: 11th September 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 14th November 2010.


I wasn’t quite sure I would like this film, for a start I have never heard of Julia Child, but I guess few people outside the USA that are not all that into food have. Don’t get me wrong, I like to cook, it’s one of those survival skills you pick up. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m not what you might call a foodie. So I’ll begin with a very brief summary (summary haters please look away while I type the next paragraph… you can rejoin the group after).

Two stories are told in parallel. First the story of how famous food writer Julia Child got her love of cooking, and how she came to write the well known book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. Julia’s husband, Paul, is a diplomat who is stationed in Paris in the late 40’s early 50’s, and this is where Julia, needing something to do, decides to learn to cook. She meets two French ladies, Louisette Bertholle and Madame Brassart who are writing a French cook book for Americans. After their publishing deal falls through they ask Julia to help out, which she does and, after many years they finally get it published. The second story is that of Julie Powell who needs a focus in her life. At the suggestion of her husband, Eric, she decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s book in one year. Not only that, but she will write a blog about her experiences. There are many highs and lows, but she eventually achieves her aim, which brings other, greater rewards.

I found this film a little hard to watch, the constant jumping from one story to another got a little distracting at times. However, the scenes when Julia was in Paris really took me back. At one time I had a French girlfriend and we had some good times in Paris… but I digress (again). I hear that Meryl Streep’s performance as Julia Child is spot on. I’ll have to take that on trust never having seen the original to compare. There were also good performances from; Amy Adams as Julie Powell, Stanley Tucci always good value as Paul Child and Chris Messina as Eric Powell.

At the end of the day, yes, I did enjoy this film. Despite the slightly distracting jumping from story to story, I found it quite engaging. Although it’s not the best film ever made, it is still pretty entertaining, and you can’t ask for more than that. Over all a quite endearing film with some good performances. I find films based on fact are often quite interesting and this one is no exception… recommended.

My score: 7.1/10

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1 comment:

Sparky said...

I was surprised, but I enjoyed this film too. Great review.