PASSION. AMBITION. BUTTER. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Nora Ephron’s best film in a decade tells two parallel stories – one set in 2002 where a New Yorker (Amy Adams) starts a blog and intends to cook every dish in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” over a year, and one set in the 1950s chronicling Child’s (Meryl Streep) hard work behind that classic book. Slightly overlong, but well planned and something of a charmer; the movie works up your appetite and has two excellent performances by Adams and Streep. The latter avoids turning her portrait of the colorful Child into a caricature. Not enough meat on the bones perhaps, but Ephron has a special touch for pleasantries like this.
2009-U.S. 123 min. Color. Produced by Nora Ephron, Laurence Mark, Amy Robinson, Eric Steel. Written and directed by Nora Ephron. Books: Julie Powell (“Julie & Julia”), Julia Child, Alex Prud’homme (“My Life in France”). Cast: Meryl Streep (Julia Child), Amy Adams (Julie Powell), Stanley Tucci (Paul Child), Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Helen Carey… Jane Lynch. Voice of Mary Kay Place.
Golden Globe: Best Actress (Streep).
Last word: “Meryl [Streep] felt that she was playing a figment of Julie’s imagination – it’s one of the ways that she found to not be a caricature of Julia. I always think it’s a movie about time travel, because that’s one of the magical things about food: if I make my mother’s barbecue sauce, I’m with my mother. The whole time I was learning to cook from her book I was with Julia Child. So the movie is partly about that power books have.” (Ephron, TimeOut)