Saturday, May 8, 2010

Julie & Julia

Julia: French people eat French food. Every single day. I can’t get over it.

Julie: …is there anything better than butter? Think it over: Every time you taste something that’s delicious beyond imagining and you say, “What is in this?”, the answer is always going to be, Butter. … Here’s my final word on the subject: You can never have too much butter.
Based on two books (Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme) and Julie Powell’s blog, Julie & Julia relates two stories: that of Julia Child (Streep) and how she came to learn French cooking; and that of Julie Powell (Adams) and how she came to cook all of the recipes in the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, Louisette Berthollle, and Simone Beck.

Of course, the film is filled with amazing food. One of the first enticements—appealing to the viewer’s sweet tooth—is chocolate pie; but many delectables follow: bruschetta; artichokes with hollandaise sauce; chicken with cream, mushrooms, and port; soufflés; lobster thermidor; braised cucumbers; roast chicken stuffed with chicken livers and cream cheese; the famous boeuf bourguignon; raspberry Bavarian cream; and finally, boned duck, stuffed and baked in a pastry shell.

Although novices might disagree, much of cooking has a particular certainty to it. As Julie comments, “You know what I love about cooking? … I love that after a day when nothing is sure—and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing!—you can come home and absolutely know that if you add eggs yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.” Or as Julia Child often said, “Don’t be afraid!” Excellent advice for cooks and chefs of whatever level of experience.

Released 2009
Written and directed by Nora Ephron

Starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, Amy Adams as Julie Powell, Stanley Tucci as Paul Child, Chris Messina as Eric Powell, Linda Emond as Simone Beck, and Helen Carey as Louisette Bertholle

Awards: 2009 BSFC Award for Best Actress (Streep); 2009 NYFCC Award for Best Actress (Streep); 2009 SEFCA Award for Best Actress (Streep)

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