Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Movie night - Julie and Julia

Last night I saw the movie Julie and Julia. While I have little in common, life-experience-wise, with Julie or Julia, there were so many moments of connection in this film.

Connections to Julie: An office-worker by day, she cooks at night. As an aspiring writer and a good cook, she thinks about her creations all day long. She reads cookbooks before she falls asleep. She made a commitment to write a blog, and to post something regularly. She thinks no one is reading her blog, but then someone makes a comment and it makes her day. Through her blog, she connects to the larger world, and it connects right back with incredibly positive feedback. That’s where the similarities end. Julie gets noticed by the right people, is invited to morning news shows and is asked to write a book. Her blogging life gets made into a movie. I could take some of that! Let the fantasy begin!

Connections to Julia: When I was a kid, I found her televised cooking show entertaining but it never inspired me to cook. Her voice was so shrill that I didn’t enjoy listening to her. But seeing her in the movie—as a woman in love, who wanted to be challenged every day, who had ambitions and hopes and disappointments in life—she became much more real. I did enjoy her guest appearance on The Martha Stewart Show one Christmas where she one-upped Martha by successfully spinning sugar into a golden nest. (Martha made everything seem like a contest – and Julia was a super competitor!) It was the same show where Martha delegated her friends to wreath-making in a back room, tables of worker ants drilling through hard nuts to be wired onto metal frames (sweatshop anyone?). More about Martha on a future post….Anyway, now that I’ve seen the movie, Meryl Streep seems more Julia than Julia, and visions of SNL’s Dan Akroyd as Julia, spouting blood from a kitchen wound, keep replaying in my head!

French cooking has always seemed an echelon or two above my capabilities and interests. I don’t, yet, own Julia’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’m inspired, now, to attempt a number of the dishes when I have the time, especially after seeing the reaction to the recipes. In this movie, the food deserves top billing, right alongside Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Stanley Tucci.

Photo credit: http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/090410/August/Julie-and-Julia_l.jpg

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