Movie: Julie and Julia Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams
Two women, two different life stories, in two different continents, are brought together, by virtue of one common attribute -- their passion for cooking. Does that sound unlikely to your cynical ears? Well, bite your tongue, for it is based on two true stories.
Julie Powell, a dissatisfied 30-something woman, leading a dreary life, decides to create a blog, “The Julie/Julia Project”, with the aim of publishing her attempts to prepare all 542 recipes in Julia Child's book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, within a span of one year. Julia Child had the world at “I'm Julia Child. Bon appétit!”
The movie simultaneously narrates Child's life in France, her experiences in the kitchen, her rise to international fame as a chef, author and television personality, her struggles and exploits. Powell attaining fulfillment (and fame!) through the recipes of her idol, despite neither meeting, nor even speaking to her, makes up the rest of her story.
Meryl Streep is, as usual, brilliant. Her flawless performance as the vivacious Julia Child is the backbone of the movie and is guaranteed to elicit smiles on everyone's faces. The beautiful relationship between Julia and her husband, Paul, played by Stanley Tucci, is excellently portrayed by the two actors.
Amy Adams, who can easily be dubbed one of the best young actresses today, proves her mettle, yet again. Her seemingly effortless depiction of Julie Powell is like a breath of fresh air and is engrossing, urging the viewers to involuntarily grin at Powell's culinary attempts, inwardly cheer her accomplishments, and blink back tears at her disappointments. Jane Lynch, who was a pleasant surprise, was impressive in her cameo as Julia's sister, Dorothy.
Bottomline: “Julie and Julia” is not a ‘brilliant' movie, and the pace, towards the second half, just might make the restless yawn. But it will definitely gain your appreciation through its simple, yet, heart-warming performances.
If you are an aspiring chef, it will excite you to rush into the kitchen to whip up a dish, and if you are not, then…well, it will just make you hungry!
Watch it to smile at, and to be inspired by, the fascinating true stories of the two women. Another reason? Um, hello? MERYL STREEP!
Remember, it is nota romantic comedy, but something a lot more than that, with all the ingredients to melt your heart. A word of advice – don't watch on an empty stomach! Bon appétit!
NAZIA JASSIM, III B. Sc.Advanced Zoology, Biotechnology, WCC