Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sunday Salon: Julie & Julia - wonderful movie

The Sunday Salon.com

One wonderful movie
I did go see 'Julie and Julia' yesterday. I loved it. We went to the theater and I was the youngest person there!! There was a whole crowd of white-haired ladies. It was wonderful to see that if the movie producers will make an intelligent movie (without guns, car chases and gratuitous sex) people will come. And this is an intelligent, funny movie. It's based on Julie Powell's book of the same title, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, (retitled My Year of Cooking Dangerously on the paperback version. I think I need to read this now too!!) which came from a blog she started in 2002, which was about her year of following the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. From beginning to end, this was a beautiful movie. My mother - who watched Julia Child on tv in the 1970's, so is familiar with her voice and mannerisms, said that Meryl Streep does a marvellous, perfect job recreating Julia Child in the movie. The wonderful actor Stanley Tucci plays her husband, Paul. Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, and she is also wonderful as the young woman who decides she needs a goal in her life, because she is nearing thirty and hasn't finished anything, since her first novel was unpublished.

I really loved this movie. It was also about writing, and getting published, and most of all, each part was about a person who was finding and doing what she loved. Julia Child always loved to eat, so she decided to go to Cordon Bleu while in Paris, to learn how to cook. Julie Powell loved to cook, and decided to challenge herself by following her favourite chef and master French cooking. The dialogue was really good -it was people talking to eachother, it was about marriages and love and cooking, and how life interferes - Paul was a diplomat, and kept getting posted to far-flung cities as Julia tried to finish her book. It took her 8 years to do Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and that wasn't the original title; her agent at Little, Brown came up with it. The acting - very very good. Dialogue - excellent. Sometimes things were hinted at, or left unsaid, which is how we do talk in real life. And best of all - there was so much humour, so much delightful wit and joy in this movie. Oh, and the real star was the the cooking. The food. The love of cooking, of preparing food that is delicious to eat.

And, as I expected, I came out of the movie wanting to buy a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. " It's time I learned," I said to my mother. She said she would leave me her copy.....

So today, I am thinking over the things I love to do, and I'm really glad I challenged myself to read 100 books this year. It may not sound like a lot of work or books read, but it is a challenge, and it is involving some lifestyle changes - less tv, less doing things that I don't want to do, in order for me to make more time to read.

Do you have something that you like to do, Gentle Reader, that you would like to do more of, or challenge yourself in some way?

Other reviews: Bibliohistoria

28 comments:

Molly said...

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the movie! I read this book several years ago, and while the language was a bit of a turn-off, the premise was wonderful. I believe that was the first time I had ever heard the term "blog"

In a former life I did quite a bit of cooking, although mostly in the style of Martha Stewart rather than Julia Child.

I think I would like to challenge myself to write more. Not that I have any secret desire to be published, but the writing class I took this summer taught me that I truly love the writing process. My challenge would be to discipline myself to write each day in a writing journal(and perhaps turn some of those journal entries into writing projects). My sticking point is coming up with the creative ideas :)

Table Talk said...

Well, going back to school is the impetus for me to reorganize so that I can do the things I like (studying and going to the theatre) rather than spending time doing lazy things like watching TV.

I seem to be coming across 'Julie and Julia wherever I turn in the blogging world and yet it means nothing to me at all. I suppose it is documenting something that is very much part of American/Canadian life. But it sounds as though it's a film I would enjoy. I must look out for it when it does the rounds over here.

Literary Feline said...

I haven't decided if I want to see this yet. If I do, it will probably be on DVD as hubby isn't too interested in it. I am glad you enjoyed it.

I can think of a lot of things I wish I could do more of. What it comes down to is time. The work thing is a big sticking point. LOL I do love my job and wouldn't want to trade it in for another--at least not most of the time.

Good luck with your goal! You can do it. :-)

Memory said...

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the movie! I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm also eager to read the book. I was lucky enough to win a copy in a giveaway, and I plan to dive in as soon as it arrives. I love stuff about cooking; I'd love to be a baker, myself, but I don't think I could handle the early hours and crowded kitchens. I need my kitchen to myself when I'm working!

Susan said...

Molly: I think it was an older generation - my mother's - that had time to learn to cook the French way. It is an investment in time. I haven't tried any of Martha Stewart's recipes. I think when I learned she had a host of people helping her, i gave up completely on her - I like cooks who do their own cooking and eating! I'll be curious to see if i respond to Julie Powell's book the same way you did.

Table Talk: you have already challenged yourself! Are you going to the theater more now? And how was the studying this past year?

Julia & Me is the title of the book, based on her blog; I didn't hear about it until the movie came out! Was Julia Child ever a big hit in cooking over in England? Or was it only over here in North America? hmmn, I never thought of that. Interesting!

Literary Feline: Time! If only we could bottle it, and then expand it when needed. Would any of ever work again?

I hope you give the movie a try. It's very easy on the eyes, a very delightful movie. But if you don't like to cook...!! it won't be of too much interest!

Memory: I own a lot of cookbooks, as does my mother. I love to cook, though I am fairly plain with my cooking, so it will be one of my challenges to learn to cook foods from another country! My brother was a baker also. You have to love it - and Julia Child loved food - in order to be a baker or cook, I think. I hope you read Julia & Me soon, or see the movie, so I can see if you like it! :-D

Carl V. said...

I'm glad the film is good, it is one that I have high hopes for. Not sure if I'll get to see it in the theater or not, but if I don't end up making it I'll be anticipating the DVD release. The cast is excellent and really excites me.

Daphne said...

I can't wait to see this! I've read both books (Julie's and Julia's) and while I probably won't buy the cookbook, "My Life In France" is worth reading. Such fun.

Reading 100 books in a year is a big deal. I try for 75 and usually mostly make it (or almost). Next year I might try to read 100 just for fun.

In my 20s I challenged myself to run a marathon -- and I did it! It was my biggest accomplishment. Haven't figured out what the 30s will hold... I'd settle for Have Child and Buy House but we'll see hwo it goes...

Gavin said...

I'[m glad you enjoyed this! I want to see this with my friend Jane when she comes back from visiting her folks.

Susan said...

Carl: oh good, at least you're going to go see it! I'm going to get it when it comes out on DVD :-D we don't own a blu-ray thingy either yet! (as in you are waiting to get the blu-ray of LotR...)

Daphne: at least you've read My Life in France, I have to find a copy now! Much of the dialogue between Julia and Paul is taken from the letters, I suspect.

Congratulations on running the marathon! My husband wants to do one, one year soon, but I'll walk one. Running makes my asthma very bad. Good goals for your thirties, too!

Gavin: oh, I hope your friend Jane is back soon!!!

Dani in NC said...

Challenges like the one that Julie Powell took on always inspire me to do something like that myself, but then I lose momentum. One goal that has been little more than a fantasy to me is to make a bedspread for each of my four children (either knit or quilted).

Susan said...

Dani: I know! I want to try all the recipes in some of my cookbooks, but I also hate copying anyone! Do you knit or quilt, or both? I quilt, although it's been a few years since I've done any, since my children are so young still. but still, a goal is a goal, and Julie was right, we do need them. and she almost quit her project too, so the difficulties aren't glossed over.

Bybee said...

I'm happy you saw the movie, but a teeny bit jealous...there aren't any dates up yet for when it will open in Asia. I've got the 2 books and should use the time to read them while waiting. Maybe I'll wander over to the town near the military base and see if it's on the (whispering) black market yet.

Don't have a kitchen as such, so cooking is really not a part of my life anymore. But more and more Korean cooking classes are popping up over here. If I could get some of my mates to join me, I'd take one.

Susan said...

Bybee: HOw do you cook then, if you have no kitchen? Does everyone live on take-out food? Is it all prepared at the grocery stores? Or do you have a stovetop that you live off of? I'm so curious, because I don't know what I'd do without even a burner or two to do some cooking on! I don't like not being able to fend for myself.

I hope the *whisper* black m is au courant and you can see it soon!

Cath said...

I've only vaguely heard of Julia Child and didn't know what she did. I hope this movie comes out over here because it sounds like my sort of thing.

Susan said...

Cath: I'm beginning to wonder if Julia Child wasn't marketed over in England! Very interesting, the things we learn on book blogs, isn't it!?! It's still an enjoyable movie - I don't have any of Julia Child's books yet, and knew she was a cook, but I knew nothing more when I went to see the movie.

JaneGS said...

Wonderful review--I have got to make some time to see this in the movie theater and not just wait for the DVD like I usually do.

I hadn't thought about the movie being about writing as well as cooking, but that does make sense.

Having a passion and being single-minded about pursuing it is enviable, though it has it's tradeoffs! There are many things I love, but not much that I pursue single-mindedly at all costs.

Can't wait to see the movie.

Susan said...

Jane: this movie does show a little of the costs of having a passion....but then it is also about honouring that passion too, because it brings such joy to the person who does it, I think. And heaven knows we all have such passion about books here in the book blogging community!

Carl V. said...

I had forgotten until I got over here that I had actually read your excellent review. I'm so glad that the outcome is no longer in doubt and that I was able to go see this one in the theater. It is a lovely film that made me smile from beginning to end...except for the parts that made me tear up! I'm such an ol' softy!

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