This is a movie I mistrusted, and so did not see when it originally came out. As a DVD, sitting at home, it’s fine. One of the issues I had with it was the choice of Streep taking on the role of Julia Child. It was too obvious a choice. Julia was almost a comic caricature of herself in real life, so playing her – especially for Streep – was fraught with peril. Still, she did a creditable job, reigning herself in, at least a little bit. I disagree though, that her’s is anywhere near an Oscar performance. For my money, Amy Adams, overlooked if not outright dissed, gave the better performance. Yet the received wisdom is that Streep “carried” the film. I beg to differ.
I also misunderstood the premise of the movie. If I had cared enough I could have found out easily enough. So it came as a pleasant surprise that this wasn’t just a Child biopic. That was half the story, but the other – and more interesting to me – was the story of Julie Powell, an aspiring and failed writer, who takes up blogging. The blog idea was to make all of the recipes over the course of one year in Julia’s famous book. I like this real life idea and found it an interesting one for a movie.
The two stories never really made it into a complete and whole film though. The fact that Julie and Julia they never met, just seems weird to me. But of course, they apparently did not. Stanley Tucci, as Paul Child, turns in a professional performance. When does he not?