This movie gives the audience two parallel stories. Well known cook Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) and her husband Paul (by Stanley Tucci) are in Paris during the 1940s and ’50s because Paul is a foreign diplomat posted there. Julia has a wonderful passion for life and while in France she develops an interest in cooking and builds a reputation as a successful (and female!) French chef. Alongside this, in 2002 in Queens, New York, Julie Powell (by Amy Adams) is a bored and frustrated temporary secretary who loves food and all things “cooking”. She sets herself a challenge – to cook all 524 recipes in her favourite cook Julia Child‘s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. She journals her year-long challenge with all its ups and downs in a blog that develops a huge following with internet foodies. As she faces daunting culinary tasks like deboning ducks and fighting lobsters, her husband Eric (by Chris Messina) tries but often fails to encourage her. We watch as she cooks day after day for the entire year and the impact of this on the other parts of her life.
This film is really delightful. Meryl Streep absolutely inhabits the persona of Julia Childs. She has a huge and contagious enthusiasm for life, for the French, for cooking and for her husband which is played out beautifully. Stanley Tucci is wonderful as Paul too. The modern day scenes with Julie are interesting, but I would have loved to see more of Julia and her life in Paris as she established her notoriety in French cuisine. All in all, this movie is nice – but Julie Powell can get a bit obsessive!
The resoruces for the film are Julie Powell’s blog and subsequent book and Julia Childs’ posthumously published memoirs about her life in Paris where her husband Paul was posted as a diplomat in 1948.
It’s a nice movie.