Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Bon Appetit!


Had a wonderful outing this week going to see the film "Julie and Julia" with a group of friends [it's chick flick though - warning - boyfriends and husbands may be bored]

It's based on the story of Julie Powell, a girl in New York in 2002 who decided to cook her way though "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" [by Julia Child] in just one year, and blog about it.

child French Cooking


The screenplay is by Norah Ephron [Sleepless in Seattle, Heartburn etc] and Meryl Streep gives a great performance as the legendary American Cook, and seems to have the mannerisms to a T.

An excellent review here


juliza child 1 j-j 3

Mrs Child [left] Ms Streep [right] see what I mean? She was 6'2" tall [that's a little scary for someone like me] and certainly a 'larger than life' personality. Although Mrs Child was around in the Fanny Cradock era, she is much more of a blessed St Delia to my US friends I think.

Good bits - I loved the shots of 1950s Paris, the pictures of boeuf bourguignon [I've got an Orange Le Creuset Casserole like that!!] the lovely swirly New Look skirts, and the little hats. I thought the way the two husbands were portrayed was great [bordering on uxorious] - each so ready to encourage and affirm his wife's achievements. [Bob bought me a pearl necklace like Julie's this year!] And when JP went to the Smithsonian in Washington to look at that kitchen, I got really excited - I was there in 2004. I thought JP's experience of blogging was interesting - although I cannot believe it was so long before she got her first comment [and that from her Mum, too] I thought Susan Spungen [ex Food Editor for Martha Stewart] had done a good job on the technical side of things. We saw the film at the new Cinema De Lux, in Leicester Highcross, and I liked the recliner seats and the general ambience.

Less Good Bits - The lady three seats along who kept laughing so loudly. The people in the row behind who kept kicking the backs of our seats [there is so much leg-room, they must have been as tall as Julia to do that!] The Lobster Death Scene [although the American juli&julia Humane Society declared in the credits that no animals had been harmed - so maybe it was CGI!] I am not sure when I shall cook cannelloni again either. I didn't like the 'Bitch' scene much, but research leads me to believe that the real-life JP isn't as sweet and sugar coated as the one portrayed in the film, and her original book [and blog] is peppered with four-letter words [and I can do without that kind of seasoning, thank you]

We had some good conversation afterwards - I never eat eggs if they are boiled, fried or poached- but it appears my friend Sarah never eats them at all! We wondered what kind of balanced [unbalanced?] diet Julie and Eric Powell lived on throughout the year. And to wear heels that high when you are on your feet cooking all day long!

Concluding thoughts -

Number One - both Julia C and her [even taller] sister married men who were not only shorter than them, but actually shorter than the average man. That shows confidence and love on both sides of the relationship. Ronnie Corbett once said "If you are a short man, you should never marry a short woman, or when you walk down the street you will look like a pair of bookends." [His wife is tall, too.] It doesn't strike me as quite such a problem when the height disparity is the other way round [I know this from personal experience!]

Number Two - I think I would like a professional navy bistro apron like Julia and Julie wore. But it would probably look silly on a woman my height.

Number Three - it was a fun film, and I enjoyed it. Even if you knew nothing about Julia Child, or about blogging, but you like French food and cooking, I think you might enjoy it [even if you're a bloke]

Here's the real Mrs Child

Compare and contrast!

[Oh and Liz, you were right - the film does make you hungry, so it was useful to take along some sweets!]


  1. Slightly pale green with envy here, as its a film I really really want to see. You can bet that if it comes here it will be dubbed into French, can you imagine!

  2. I liked it, too. I agree about the blog - too salty for me.
    I will buy the DVD so I can see Meryl again and all the pretty Paris scenes.

  3. I enjoyed this movie as well, especially the Paris scenes. I tried reading the Julie Powell book, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I can live with a little profanity, but she struck me as vulgar and not particularly interesting. Julia, though! Ah, wouldn't you have loved to gone out to dinner with her? What fun!


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