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Julie & Julia movie poster

Julie & Julia: Movie Review

Three-and-a-half stars
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Nora Ephron
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Jane Lynch

Released by: Sony Pictures

In Short: Centering around two real-life food-obsessed females from different eras, this charming film makes us adore Meryl Streep even more than before, as she plays Julia Child to perfection.
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Cooking Up a Clever Comedy

It's a match made in heaven, the larger-than-life (yet very real) character of Julia Child, brought back to life by the wondrous Meryl Streep. As usual in all her films, it is Streep's performance that dominates the new comedy-drama Julie & Julia, writer-director Nora Ephron's parallel telling of two lives dominated by a love of butter.

Julie is Julie Powell, a contemporary woman bogged down in a frustrating job, who decides to launch a blog with the plan to make every one of Julia Child’s recipes from her famed cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the course of a single year. As played by the always likable Amy Adams, Julie is a slightly boring gal, married to a guy (Chris Messina) who chops his food a bit too graphically, but is otherwise a good husband.

Their side of the story is much less interesting than the other half of the film, which follows Americans Julia Child and her husband Paul as they move to Paris in the late 1940's. Streep is dead-on perfect as Julia, while Stanley Tucci gives an equally wonderful performance as Paul, a man who truly loves his wife and encourages her to take up cooking as a serious calling.

Amy Adams in Julie & Julia Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Their biography as told in Julie & Julia is endlessly fascinating, begun as Julia heads to the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and ending as her cookbook is published, thus launching her memorable career as a chef extraordinaire. It's not only a tale of love and obsession (for food, naturally), it's a window into the past, when married women were expected to simply stay home and take care of their husbands. Julia broke that mold, and helped launch the foodie movement that is still going strong in America decades later.

Overall, the film is a delightful trip that explores how food, love and the art of cooking can make our lives complete. We just wish there was even more of Meryl Streep’s Julia Child on the screen, for her performance is simply a gem.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

Read more about Julie & Julia on Gayot's blog.

PKR062409 (Updated: 08/06/09AR)

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