Thursday, December 31, 2009

Julie & Julia - Movie Review

Julie & Julia is a charming movie about one blogger's obsession with Julia Child's obsession with cooking. The movie's strong point is the performances of the leads. Amy Adams continues her campaign to seize the crown of most adorable actresses working today while Meryl Streep, as always, disappears entirely into her character. I say that so that it sounds like its boring but Streep's achievement mustn't be written off that easily. It says something about her as an artist that this kind of performance is simply something we expect from her; never for a moment do you get the impression that Streep is anyone other than Child.

The sets are bright and cheery and entirely unrealistic. Who wouldn't want to live about a pizzeria in Queens as depicted here? And Paris looks exactly as it does in my head when I'm reading Hemingway. Or exactly as it appears at Epcot. Which isn't a criticism here; I hope that some day when I visit Paris it's as its depicted here but I get the feeling reality will rudely intrude. Still, who cares? I enjoyed the fantasy. This is what Hollywood does.

There's a gratuitous slam against Republicans that even the kind, gentle Emily noticed. Don't know what's up with that but it doesn't add anything to the plot or character. It's irritating more than anything but most people probably won't care. Perhaps it was the evil McCarthy that forced the Childs to come state-side but I suspect it had more to do with being in the foreign service that requires a constant moving about than it did politics. Whatevs.

The point is, this is a good movie not about cooking or blogging but about two, happily married couples where one member doggedly pursues her passion and the other doing his best to be supportive. And with a happy ending, too! We don't get many movies like that from Hollywood so for that alone we should be grateful. The performances by the leads are just icing on the cake.

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