GREEN'S "524 RECIPES IN 365 DAYS" REVIEW:
Julia Child and her diplomat husband Paul are living in Paris in the early 1950's. Julia doesn't know what to do with her life, so she puts herself through the Cordon Bleu cooking school and finds her passion. In 2002, thirty year old Julie Powell is going through a life crisis of her own, so she decides to learn to cook by making all of the recipes from Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year and blogging about her experience.
This biopic is based on two true stories, which screenwriter/director Nora Ephron blends seamlessly into a film that is better than good, but not quite great. Ephron's skill as a screenwriter is not in doubt. What makes this film worthwhile is the performance by Meryl Streep, who despite being eight inches shorter than the real life character she portrays, beautifully captures the essence of who Julia Child was and her passion for food. She rightly deserved an Oscar nomination for her role.
Amy Adams, whose films I generally like, does a good job portraying Julie Powell.
The supporting cast, Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina, are perfect complimentary characters, supporting their spouses in what they want to do with their lives.
It is evident throughout the movie that Julie Powell holds Julia Child in the highest regard. I was surprised to learn from the film that toward the end of her life, Child (who died in 2004) heard of what Powell was doing and was not happy about it.
I remember as a kid seeing some of Julia Child's cooking show on PBS but was too young to appreciate it.
The film has a good pace to it but for me was a bit too long. As a tribute to Julia Child, for whose legacy we have to thank for the myriad cooking shows, Rachel Rays and Emeril LaGasses, and probably FoodTV as well, this film is an excellent tribute.
***½ out of *****
Julie & Julia (2009, PG-13, 123 minutes), starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina. Based on the book by Julia Child & Alex Prud'homme and the book by Julie Powell. Screenplay and Direction by Nora Ephron.