Julie & Julia
The Julia half of the movie is delightful. Meryl Streep is wonderful, in no small part because Julia Child is written so wonderfully here (and I have fond memories of her from my early childhood).
I sat impatiently through the Julie parts, waiting for them to return to Child, because the comparison is unkinder to Powell than the movie seems to think. Oh boo-hoo I dropped a capon on the floor, oh boo-hoo the food critic isn't coming to dinner after all, oh boo-hoo my husband wants me to pay attention to him, why do we have to live in Queens — the self-absorption is unrelenting, and in a "character" I have to think the movie wants us to like. Lord knows how many sour notes got tuned out of the first draft if this is what we ended up with.
I admit that my perception of Powell in the film is probably colored by what we now know about that marriage in real life, but side by side with Child, she comes off that much poutier and shallower. Child seems to have genuine passion for cooking and for her husband, and a sense of humor about herself; Powell, at least in the film version, has a genuine passion for attention, and for her husband only when he's giving her and her project that attention, and no sense of humor about much of anything. When that reviewer calls to tell her that Child didn't like the idea of the project, my reaction wasn't to sympathize with Powell or the unceasing subsequent whinging. It was to snort, "Good."
Streep made me want to rush over to Amazon and buy a bunch of Child-related books, but Adams, whom I usually enjoy, could do nothing to redeem the martyr-complexy Powell and her unflattering cap-sleeve shirts. That said, the movie is paced well, and Nora Ephron doesn't linger too long on Powell before cutting back to Child. Worth watching; just have your own gimmicky project to work on during the Julie sections. Like, say, watching all the Oscar nominees in a month. Heh.
Death Race 39, Sarah 19; 6 of 24 categories completed
Tags: Amy Adams Julia Child Julie Powell Meryl Streep Nora Ephron Oscars 2010 Death Race unearned self-importance