Sunday, September 6, 2009


I can only tell you that I loved this movie and it injected my soul with happiness!
by Charlie Leck

I’m no movie critic! Make note of that before you read further. Nevertheless, I have strong feelings about this movie, Julie & Julia, and, after seeing it last night, I can't let go of them. Scenes keep playing themselves over in my head and I keep hearing that wonderful whooping voice of Julia Child (or was it Meryl Streep?).

This was one of the most delightfully entertaining movies I have ever seen. I don’t think I have enjoyed two hours in a movie theatre any more than I did as I watched this sparkling, joyous and tender production.

And of Meryl Streep, on whom I have had forever a staggering crush, I will let the NY Times movie critic, A.O. Scott, express it perfectly for me:

“By now this actress has exhausted every superlative that exists and to suggest that she has outdone herself is only to say that she’s done it again. Her performance goes beyond physical imitation, though she has the rounded shoulders and the fluting voice down perfectly.

“Often when gifted actors impersonate real, familiar people, they overshadow the originals, so that, for example, you can’t think of Ray Charles without seeing Jamie Foxx, or Truman Capote without envisioning Philip Seymour Hoffman. But Ms. Streep’s incarnation of Julia Child has the opposite effect, making the real Julia, who died in 2004, more vivid, more alive, than ever”. [A.O. Scott, NY Times]
If she doesn’t win “Best Actress” for this one, there is no justice beneath the heavens – none!

Scott calls this film an imperfect meal. He says that Amy Adams (as Julie) is simply “overmatched by her co-star and handicapped by the material.” That is so, but I think it is meant to be that way. Julie is a simple, cute and energetic person, but she is not Julia; and who, except Streep, could be? The contrasts were intentional – just as were the contrasts between Paris and the Queens. Paris is a city no one wants to leave and nearly everyone wants to get the hell out of the Queens.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s say this was an imperfect movie. Scott also cleverly points to the Julia Child philosophy.

“But an imperfect meal can still have a lot of flavor, and the pleasures offered by this movie should not be disdained. Julia Child knew what to do with a broken sauce or a half-fallen soufflé: serve it anyway, with flair and without apology. What would Julia say? What she always said: Bon appétit!” [A.O. Scott, NY Times]
I disagree with Scott. Please understand that. To me, this was a perfect meal. I thought Ms. Adams was brilliant in her roll, but who wouldn’t look a bit less talented when paired with Streep in a film? She’s also done it to other young actresses in other wonderful films as well. And one also needs to remember that Adams did not have the extraordinary character to play that Streep was so fortunate to draw.

As I said in beginning, I am no movie critic. I don’t know how to review a movie. I can only tell you I loved, loved, loved this wonderful movie and I will see it again more times (awkward grammatical stumble intentional).


[An omelet the Julia Child way as demonstrated by Julia Child!]

No comments:

Post a Comment