Tuesday, 15 September 2009
REVIEW: Julie & Julia
As a passing thought before I review a two hour plus film about cooking, I would estimate that of the thirty people in my screening I was the only one below the age of say, 45. This is no criticism but it gives you an idea of the type of film this is, and more importantly who its audience is. AKA not me. But for what is and who its for its OK, and I should imagine to anyone who takes delight in all things culinary this movie would be a treat as food takes on a near reverential presence here.
The film is a two part biography I suppose, one covering chef Julia Child (Meryl Streep) in 50's Paris struggling to get her cookbook off the ground, whilst Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is a struggling writer who starts a blog cataloging her attempt to cook through Child's cookbook in one year. Hilarity ensues. Although not really, seeing as this film is more concerned in dealing in warmth then laughs, Whether that's a good thing is entirely dependent on your own personal level of cynicism. I have to say that Nora Ephron's film has one of the kindest portrayal's of men in cinematic history. According to her, men are supportive, faithful, loving and earnest. As both husband's of our leading ladies, one played by the under-rated Stanley Tucci and the other by Six Feet Under's Chris Messina are nothing short of saints. Now I know how women feel when they see the countless number of summer movies in which their gender is relegated to the saint like supportive role.
Performance wise, Streep certainly cranks the OTT meter here, but apparently its an accurate portrayal so I can't get in her face too much, but lets say that she may be an acquired taste in this film. Amy Adams, has a more down to earth role and arguably is the more amenable of the two. But look for Streep to get the Oscar nomination. A passable film for what it is and certainly shows progression for Ephron as a film-maker since bewitched. But its far from a mind-bending piece of work