I’ve just returned home from an advanced screening of Julie and Julia, and while I’d like to stay calm, cool, and collected and write an analytical and objective review of the film without using effusive words I have to admit that this will be an utter impossibility because I found the film to be absolutely outstanding.
From the moment the movie started I couldn’t help but have a gigantic grin on my face. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci embody Paul and Julia Child perfectly and their chemistry is simply spot on. I know Meryl almost always earns an Oscar nod for her portrayals of various amazing characters, but if she is somehow overlooked this year it would be a veritable Hollywood sin.
Admittedly I am a bit biased about the whole Julie and Julia project/book. I feel like I have quite a bit in common with Julie Powell. I too am an administrative assistant approaching 30 next year and wondering what my next steps will be. I also often begin a night of so-called cathartic cooking and find myself violently angry at a pot of stew or a piece of beef. CK has on more than one occasion had to talk me off the cooking ledge so-to-speak after I’ve burned an expensive concoction of ingredients in yet another attempt to make something eye catching and engaging for a blog post. It’s not all fun and games by any stretch of the imagination and Amy Adams’s approachable performance gives a very accurate example of the bizarre moods and pressure that writing for an online audience can create in many people (myself included). Not to mention that we also apparently share an orange cat.
Of course the movie is far from serious. I’m not sure of the last time I heard so many genuinely delighted peels of laughter from such a large audience. And I highly doubt the screening was completely filled with foodies chuckling at inside jokes, although there was one woman happily chowing down on a bowl of delicious smelling soup sitting in front of us. Frankly I was a bit jealous. All I had was a horrifying blue slushy that turned my mouth Smurfette colored.
One of my favorite moments in Julie and Julia occurred when Julie attempts to cook lobster. The music in the background in Pscho Killer by the Talking Heads and Julie’s husband sings along to the song and changes the words to “Lobster Killer” taunting the squeamish Powell as she tentatively lowers the wriggling creatures into a gigantic pot of boiling water. Oh yes, I could definitely see CK doing the same thing to me.
The movie opens on August 7th and I wholeheartedly urge you to go. All in all it’s an uplifting experience filled to the brim with gorgeous food and cooking imagery. Of course after being exposed to Julia Child’s influence for two wonderful hours I’ve added a string of pearls to my personal wishlist of must haves and have an overwhelming urge to make Boeuf Bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking but that isn’t exactly anything to feel bad about now is it?
Next weekend’s Food Blogger Julie & Julia Meet-Up will take place in Boston as follows:
Date: Friday, August 7th 2009
Time: Approximately 6-7 PM (dependent upon the theater’s posting of the movie times next week)
Theater: Boston Common AMC Lowes
In addition, I’ve received the following information about an event hosted by Le Cordon Bleu Boston who will be holding an exclusive Julia Child inspired cuisine and Julie & Julia movie night on Wednesday, August 5th. Guests pay $20 for traditional French cuisine followed by a ticket to see the film. There will be two meal seating options at the Technique Restaurant Le Cordon Bleu located at 215 First Street in Cambridge, MA: Lunch at 11:30 AM or dinner at 5:00 PM followed by a 9:00 PM showing of the film at the Harvard Square AMC Loews Theater.
Guests will be served a traditional four-course French meal inspired by famous Le Cordon Bleu alumna, Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking,” cookbook. The four-course menu will include: Amuse Bouche: Mini Sausage & Mushroom Quiche, First Course: Watercress Soup, Entrée: Boeuf Bourguignon, Dessert: Chocolate Cream Pie.
Reservations are required. Please call Technique Restaurant at 617-218-8088 to reserve a space. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House. CK and I will be attending the 5:00 PM dinner session and I hope to see a few familiar faces.