An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Julia Child and Julie Powell - both of whom wrote memoirs - find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends... until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible. Written by
Third collaboration between Meryl Streep and writer Nora Ephron. They previously worked together in Silkwood (1983), and Heartburn (1986). See more »
Eric quotes Douglas Adams on the subject of deadlines - then attributes the quote to "The Hitch-hiker's Guide". The line was spoken by Adams in an interview it is not in "The Hitch-hiker's Guide." See more »
The moment that Julie flops on her bed, lamenting "Julia hates me!" is the only moment that made me credit writer/director Ephron with some small degree of insight and artistry, because in that moment Ephron acknowledges that Julie deserves no admiration for her kitchen marathon. Throughout the movie, it's obvious that the supremely accomplished Julia Child would never have respected Julie Powell for turning the former's masterpiece into the latter's superficial stunt.
Streep is superb as Julia Child, playing her as she gloriously was, larger than life and vull of vigor, making believable her passion for food and for cooking. Amy Adams is fine, too, but Julie is a thankless role. The most obvious problem: Only a fool would cook 524 recipes in 365 days, let alone 524 French haute cuisine dishes from a two- volume tome that, incidentally, isn't a simple cookbook. And by the way, Julie the fool would also have to be (1) wealthy enough to afford the rich and meaty ingredients and the well-equipped kitchen that the 524 recipes call for, and (2) willing to eat leftover boeuf Bourguignon or lamb stuffed with kidneys for breakfast or lunch.
But let's just accept that Julie is a determined fool (and a wealthier one than she pretended). What I could not accept in Ephron's formulaic film or in Powell's original project is the fact that Julie never actually learns how to cook, or even seems to want to learn-- yet she miraculously succeeds in nearly every recipe the first time! She cooks by rote, more like an assembly-line worker at an auto plant than a creative chef. Hardly admirable, or believable.
Julie needed to be a woman with the soul of a gourmand. She isn't. She's a blogger with the soul of a clerk.
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