Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back From The Big City. . .

























Let's get down to business.  The subject at hand: as I said earlier today I hadn't seen "Julie & Julia" until last night. 

Here are my thoughts:

1.) Meryl Streep was extraordinary, she WAS Julia Child. The voice! I couldn't believe it.

2.) "Julia" made me fall in love with Paris all over again. Her childlike curiosity, her giddy appreciation of everything French, the sweet way she charmed shop owners, the way she swooned over a perfect mayonnaise. Wonderful.

3.) Yes, a little less Julie and a lot more Julia would have made the film blissful perfection for me. Every time the scenes left Paris, I felt let down. Yes, I appreciate the context, but still. . .
























Inside Dehillerin, the famous cookware emporium in the 1st arrondissement. One could spend hours there. 


4.) The apartments, the cooking, the kitchens, the cookware, the joy of cooking (!), the delight in discovery, the markets, the food -- well, you know. I wanted MORE.

5.) Before anyone points out, and rightly so, that the idea was the blog, cooking the book in one year, Julia saving Julie and so on, you may be (probably are) right. Still, I hold my ground.

6.) More power to Julie for her phenomenal success. Her idea was great. She probably realized most bloggers dreams.

Now, this is what I loved most about the film, the love affair, the kindness, the amorous looks, the shared humor, the mutual support between Julia and Paul. I was teary as I watched their portrayals because I have always heard they were deeply in love. A friend of mine, who was also a spy (and a fabulous cook), knew her and said it was lovely to see Julia and Paul together. Everything about them seemed easy and right, no temper, no hysteria, no me, me, me. Is "civilized" the word? Yes, but not as a facade, but rather as part of respect for their couple, their love.

I received my first "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (which I haven't btw) from my mother as an engagement present -- for my first marriage. I particularly appreciated her appreciating the book because, and she admitted this herself, she was one of the world's worst cooks. I knew it was time to get out of bed and get dressed for school when I smelled toast burning -- Monday through Friday. She just never got the hang of the toaster.

My book is now splattered and tattered, but I cannot part with it, both for Julia and my mother.

On another note: Murphy left a question which I plan to answer tomorrow because it's been on my mind for quite some time. The question is: Does the average, chic French woman own only about 20 items or is this an urban legend? I'll tell you tomorrow.

33 comments:

Average Girl said...

I so agree with you... I had wished the whole movie was based just on the life of Julia Childs. Meryl Streep was phenomenal! With that said though, I did love the movie enough to buy it. And Amy Adams did an amazing job as well!

Lorrie said...

I'm in complete agreement with you. I longed for more of Julia. But Amy Adams did a wonderful job of portraying her character, whom I liked MUCH better in the movie. I thought she was just too whiny and foul-mouthed in the book.

Cathi said...

I loved that movie and agree with you, more of Julia's story would have been fascinating, but alas it was Julie's story to tell...It makes me smile whenever I see that movie poster or hear Meryl Streep's Julia voice - she did a wonderful job, as she usally does! :)

cigalechanta said...

I agree with you, the Julie part was weak.
I finished reading the delightful new book AS ALWAYS,JULIA, the letters from julia in France to a women here in Cambridge. If you love cooking or just reading about it, about food, this is a book for you.

James said...

Great review. I always loved Ms Child on the old PBS series. This movie gave me a better understanding of her.

cigalechanta said...

P.S.
this is for you !

http://www.care2.com/send/card/6690

Deja Pseu said...

After seeing this movie, I picked up a copy of Julia Child's "My Life in France" which is a delightful memoir, and the basis for a good portion of her story in the movie. I also picked up "Mastering" but haven't worked myself up to make anything from it yet. Glad you enjoyed the movie!

Diane said...

I loved the film and I did appreciate the contrast between the two lives. I loved the scenes in Paris, the food (and I did cook some of her recipes afterwards too}, and the fashions. It was perfectly styled. I am currently enjoying the book.

materfamilias said...

I loved this movie as well, and I absolutely agree with you about the Julie part.
And I love Dehellerin's -- what a fabulous collection of everything one could want in a kitchen, shelf upon shelf upon crowded shelf. Before we started going Carry-On only, we'd shop there for knives each visit -- but they don't much appreciate those at Airport Security . . .

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Everyone I know said the exact same thing..."More Julia"! Genius Meryl should have won the Oscar. I look at those awards differently now as a result!! Is there another actress who could have done that?? I think not! And that glorious Parisian apartment with that glorious curved window!! sigh.

M-T said...

I tried to persevere, but found myself FFing through the Julie bits, particularly after I saw her husband's less than appealing table manners.

The Julie/Julia gimmick did not work for me.

More Julia and Paul would have been heaven. Meryl was absolutely amazing. She did not impersonate Julia, she recreated her to my utter delight.

Ann said...

I agree - more Julia. I love Amy Adams but couldn't stand the Julie character.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

About 8 years ago, I found a bio hardcover about Julia at my local thrift store; and remembering The French Chef shows on PBS that I used to watch in the 90's, I bought it and read it. I absolutely fell in love with Julia. She led such an exciting and different life for the era she'd been born into. And yes, the love affair between Paul and her was darling. She was quite the woman.

Oh yeah, and I did enjoy the movie.

Mary said...

I'm actually surprised that you many of you didn't enjoy the Julie character's part of the movie. I felt like it was a intro into a life of someone who was like the rest of us: inspired and motivated by Julia to be like her!

While I was still in H.S. I ordered Mastering the Art of French Cooking when I could choose 4 free books and then sign up for the Book of the Month Club. As a beginning cook after I was married, it was so informative and helpful in filling in the needed items for my kitchen (or: an excuse to buy french cooking pots and pans!!!)

Rubiatonta said...

I loved the movie; having grown up watching Julie Child and Graham Kerr on WGBH, it brought me right back to my childhood. (Remember "The Galloping Gourmet"? What a hoot!)

And Pseu's right, "My Life In France" was a treat to read. See if you can track a copy down.

Snippets/Sarah said...

Ooooooh. It looks like I have found yet another blog to put on my "to read" list. What is this blogland? Do fabulous blogs like yours go on forever?? I've moved to metropolis in the south of the US recently. I don't know if I will ever leave my nest. I am always reading blogs! Thank you!

cigalechanta said...

Julia lived in my town (Cambridge, Ma.)and we shopped in the same places.She would ride around town in a small car that she attached a wooden spoon to her antenna, she claimed it was find her car in a lot but she loved attention and did't mind if you asked her how to prepare what you were buying.

legend in his own lunchtime said...

I watched this movie for two reasons. 1/ When I am home, I am always in either the garden or the kitchen. 2/ I lived in France for 5 years and any excuse to relive those delightful times, I take.
It was this film, and reading Why Miss Jones's blog that got me started blogging in the first place, so I have a little more sympathy with Julie (but not much)

Stephanie said...

I adored this move for all the reasons you mention. It's nice to see an uplifting movie like this that just makes one smile.

While you are on a roll with answering questions....may I ask one? Does Repetto ship to the U.S.? My inquiring mind wants to know.

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Tish, I watched it a few weeks back. I love Meryl in anything. I could watch her make a cup of tea and not get bored. She was great in it. I would have preferred a lot less of Amy Adams xx

Toby Wollin said...

I guess I'm the only one here who adores Stanley Tucci. I think the ultimate food movie double feature would be Julie/Julia combined with Big Night. I fell in love with Stanley Tucci as Muerte in Undercover Blues and haven't stopped. I think he's one of the most talented actors in movies today.

cigalechanta said...

I agree, Toby, he was excellent also as the killer in the Bones film.

cigalechanta said...

http://www.darkhorizons.com/interviews/1534/stanley-tucci-for-the-lovely-bones-

Anonymous said...

Hi Tish,
I loved the movie and the books.
Adored them. Interesting that my mother who was born in France did not take to the Julia character channeled by Meryl. She was totally unhappy with the character. I'm wondering what MRFLIF thought of the movie since he didn't grow up with Julia on PBS. Was she known to him? Could you "explain me this?".It might help me to understand why my mother couldn't take Julia in the film. Thanks
Jeannie

Semi Expat said...

Thought that Meryl was absolutely wonderul as Julia. Glad you enjoyed the film and hope that you are now feeling much better. p.s. loved the post about Teddy as toast! x

Anonymous said...
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BigLittleWolf said...

Julia and Paul were the best best best part of that film. And oh, yes - their Paris! A love affair in and of itself!

Shelley said...

Well, I've not seen this film yet, either, so you're not that late! I have it in mind to get from the library (for 85p or so) and if I like it sufficiently to buy the DVD. Sounds like I will like it a lot, but I usually do love most of what Meryl Streep does. I shall look forward to my next trip to the library!! Can't wait to hear how many clothes a French woman actually owns. The earth practically turns on this question, you know.

Metropolitan Mum said...

What a lovely post, I couldn't agree more on everything you said.
On a slightly different note - one of my best friends is moving to Pairs this summer. Finally, I have an excuse to hop on the Eurostar go over ever so often. Vive la France! :)

la fourchette said...

Okay. That does it. I'm watching this film tonight.

I'm a big fan of Julia (yes, we're on a first name basis - after all, I grew up knowing her), Meryl Streep...and your blog. Looking forward to returning to compare my notes after viewing.

Great post.

Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen said...

I couldn't agree with your comments more. AFter watching the DVD my husband and I ran out and got her book "my life in France". Reading it, and their story made us fall more in love with each other, and France- and was part of the reason we brought our daughters to Paris for 2 weeks in December when I turned 40. Our apartment was right around the corner from Dehillerin. Julia is an inspiration to me personally as she didn't really discover her true calling until she was 40 something.

cigalechanta said...

a timely newsletter:
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/01/as-always-julia-ideas-in-food-julia-child-book/

Frugal Scholar said...

Late to this post and to your wonderful blog. I must confess that we skipped the Julie sections! And we found the scenes with Paula and Julia hothothot.

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