Julie & Julia – The Movie

I don’t normally blog about books to movies on the whole, and didnt after I saw The Time Traveller’s Wife, however I had to blog about this one! Last night in a big break from the Sensational Season (in tomorrow’s post you will see that I had a very, very sensational weekend in more ways than one) and went with The Converted One to see one of the few movies I have been very excited about this year…Julie and Julia. I will admit before I go any further that I haven’t read the book yet so I can’t compare and contrast. This is also shocking behaviour for me as I tend to always read the book first. This time though my copy of Julie Powell’s book is almost at the top of my TBR however I simply couldn’t wait.

The story of the movie is that Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is in a job she finds both emotional and dull, dealing with insurance after 9/11 and moving from Brooklyn to Queens with her husband to an area good for him and slightly remote for her. All her friends at ‘the cob salad social’ who she was at school with are high fliers in various fields, one who is a journalist and one who starts a successful blog while Julie, herself once an editor who temped to write a novel for 8 years, remains a frustrated writer. So she decides to start a blog… she will cook all the recipes in culinary legend Julia Childs (we don’t really know her in the UK, she is like a Delia or a Nigella, I now have to get this cookbook though) ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That’s 524 recipes in 365 days.

Meanwhile we get to see the story of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) arriving in Paris where she is tall, loud knows barely any French but loves food… and devours French food. Getting bored while her husband works she gives up bridge lessons and hat making to learn French cookery and though she has no knowledge (“what’s a shallot”) she does have determination and flare. I found the love between Child and her husband so touching and so well portrayed it was so, so sweet. I won’t give anymore away other than to say the two women’s lives parallel on occasion and we then follow their stories.

I loved the movie (so did The Converted One who at once wanted to know more about my blogging, and simultaneously felt happy that there are other people out there who come second to their partners blogs – no comment). I actually left wanting to watch it all over again. Fortunately we went to the last showing on Sunday and so we couldn’t, had we been able to I would have been in there like a shot. It’s just one of those delightful feel good movies where you laugh, in parts you sort of want to have a little weep (though I was crying with laughter at Meryl Streep’s wonderful performance – Oscar worthy, you watch) with joy in places. I left with a spring in my step and all geared up for the week ahead, even if I did want to stay up and whizz up a soufflé.

The interesting thing with the film is that I now feel less inclined to read Julia Powell’s ‘Julie and Julia’ straight away (but must as The Converted One is eyeing it up dangerously) which I am still excited about but in the film the modern part of the tale seems somewhat flatter. Then again they say films are never as good as the books so that means I now have two fabulous books to read. I am simply chomping at the bit to get my mitts on ‘My Life in France’ by Julia Childs.

Has anyone else seen the film? Ever cooked one of the recipes from Julia Child’s acclaimed book? Have you read ‘Julie and Julia’ and is it fab? What about the latest novel from Julie Powell ‘Cleaving’ – which am not sure about? Have you read ‘my Life in France’? Or are you just not bothered about it all?


Filed under Books To Film

22 responses to “Julie & Julia – The Movie

  1. I’m going to see the film this week and then judging by how much I enjoy it (which I suspect will be hugely, as I have a lot of time for the lovely Meryl Streep) I will then get hold of the books. I do think the actual Julie and Julia book won’t be up my street as I have frequented the blog she wrote/writes and I don’t like her writing style. It’s all very eff this and eff that and oh my god like this happened! and I don’t like that sort of thing at all! I even shudder at D H Lawrence using the f word so…not my thing. But I do think Julia Child’s book will be finding its way onto my shelf. Also the cookery book. Who needs an excuse to cook with tons of garlic and butter and cheese and delicious fattening things?

    • Oddly they have toned down the eff-ing in the film character. Who randomly comes out with the line “is it because I swear too much sometimes?” When in fact Amy Adams doesnt swear once so looking at her blog I was a little… well not shicked but… oh you know. Maybe vexed is the right word with the sensation season and all!

  2. Glad that you both enjoyed it, Simon! The boy loved the movie and, like the Converted One, nodded along in understanding to the taking second place to a blog parts and writing freak-outs.

    The Julie section is definitely flatter than the Julia, I think because Meryl Streep literally shines onscreen and was Julia Child for me.

    I will definitely be reading my copy of My Life in France as soon as I can and I have read Julie & Julia, which wasn’t my ideal read but was a refreshing change in pace and tone and has some very fun parts (like the chapter “They Shoot Lobsters, Don’t They?” an extended look at the hilarious lobster scene).

    • I agree with you on Meryl shining absolutely no question whatsoever. She unintentionally steels the show completely.

      I think Julie and Julia will be a good break from Sensation Season which after such a few dark weeks already I am getting sucked into!

  3. Dot

    Great review, I’m really looking forward to going to see this! I love Meryl Streey and Amy Adams is wonderful too!

  4. My husband was out of town when this movie came out, so I bribed my kids to see it with me. Barring the few bad words, they even loved it! I have a serious love thing going on for Julia Childs and always have. I’ve read Powell’s book and My Life in France (I actually cried at the end of that one!), and seeing it all come to life left me thrilled. BTW, my husband thinks he is a blogging widower. I try very hard, as a result, to do my biggest blogging work while he is out of the house!

    • I didnt spot any bad words… well there is one very rude line (which made me laugh and laugh as you wouldn’t expect to hear it from Meryl Streep) but am glad you all enjoyed it. Childs is something new to the UK but think after this film we won’t be able to get enough of her!

  5. This sounds like a movie that would be O.K. to see before reading the book, even if the book is better.

    I gave you some BBAW love! http://bibliofreakblog.com/memes/blogs-reading/

  6. 1. Saw the film, loved it.

    2. Read J&J long before I knew it was going to be a film. Loved it.

    3. Did not read My LIfe in France, But I did read a bio of Julia years ago called Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch. Liked it a lot.

    4. I haven’t made a recipe from MTAFC per se, BUT I had a homemade mayonnaise that failed, and I knew from J&J that MTAFC had a way to fix failed mayos. We went over to the shelf, pulled it down, followed the instructions and the mayo was rescued and delicious!

    • The film is brilliant isn’t it! I am very excited as I have Julia Child’s cookbook and her ‘My Life in France’ winging their way to me so will be having some sort of Child’s homage over the next few weeks!

  7. I don’t even know if it’s out yet in Oz, but I think I’ll see it. Great review 🙂

  8. I LOVED the movie and the book. I really don’t enjoy cooking (although I do) so I would never try one of her recipes…too many ingredients for me..LOL

    • Oh I like a good bit of cooking now and again. Though oddly mot generally during the week when there is so much going on. It then tends to be food cooked begrudgingly… maybe that adds to the flavour.

  9. Steven Harris

    The film left me feeing very warm and happy, in the sort of way only old movies normally make me feel. I haven’t tried the recipes yet but boy did I come out of the cinema very hungry.

  10. Steven Harris

    I’m more likely to bake than do anything spectacular in terms of cooking. Sweet tooth, you see.

  11. justicejenniferreads

    I loved the movie. I might even dare to say it was the best movie of the summer for me: it was just soooo good. And the book didn’t disappoint me. Although, I have heard very mixed reviews. But I loved Julie’s voice. I wanted to become her best friend, seriously. I hope that you enjoy it when you get around to it. It’s a very quick read.

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