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Monday, August 10, 2009

JULIE & JULIA

By D.E.Levine

Director: Nora Ephron
Writers: Julie Powell (book "Julie & Julia"), Julia Child (book "My Life In France") and Alex Prudhomme (book "My Life In France)
Producers: Nora Ephron, Laurence Mark, Amy Robinson and Eric Steel
Executive Producers: Donald J. Lee, Jr., Scott Rudin and Dana Stevens
Co-producer: Dianne Dreyer
Associate Producer: J.J.Sacha
Line Producer (Paris): John Bernard
Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Helen Carey, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jane Lynch, Frances Sternhagen, Joan Juliet Buck, Crystal Noelle, George Bartenieff et al.
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Running Time: 124 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English and French
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Biography

Five years after Julia Child died, a movie about a portion of her life and teachings and its effect on a young writer, has been turned into a charming film.

Starring Meryl Streep as the incomparable Julia, whose spontaneous charm could, according to her husband Paul, turn even the grumpiest person in a room docile, the film is a charming biopic and contemporary dramedy.

Both Julia and Julie, a writer who blogs about her plan to chop, whip, stir and bake her way through Child's 1961 cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" found fulfillment through cooking. Julie finally published a book about her year in 2005.

Director Nora Ephron also draws from the 2006 posthumously completed memoir "My Life In France" which Child and her nephew wrote together and he completed.

Starting with their arrival in Paris in 1948 to take up residence with her husband who has accepted a job at the American embassy, Julia was a loud, unserious, 6 foot 2 inch Californian who set out to master French cooking.

Implied because of their love of cooking, their mastery of French cooking and their adoring husbands who encouraged them, is a kinship between the two women, who never meet.

The performances are masterful on all parts and very enjoyable. But, although the 5 foot 6 inch Streep tackles convincingly the 6 foot 2 inch Child and does an amazing job on both the voice and mannerisms, something is lacking.

The film is enjoyable but lacks French dialogue and French culinary visuals, which would have made it more effective.