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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Julie & Julia can be found here.
Newly moved with her husband Eric (Chris Messina) to a small apartment over a pizzeria in Queens (New York) and working in a stressful but underpaid job, 30-year-old Julie Powell (Amy Adams) decides to add some purpose to her humdrum life by cooking every one of the 524 recipes in acclaimed chef Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961, 1970) while blogging about her experience. Intertwined with Julie's story is Child's own story (Child is played by Meryl Streep), starting with her enrollment at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and continuing until the publishing of her signature cookbook aimed at teaching Americans how to do French cooking.
Julie & Julia is actually based on two books. One is My Life In France (2006), a memoir by Julia Child [1912-2004], the American chef famed for her French cooking. The other is based on American author Julie Powell's 2005 book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
Julie Powell's story takes place in 2002 and '03. Julia Child's story takes place starting in 1949 as she first moves to France with her husband, Paul Child (Stanley Tucci), and decides to start taking cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu; and continues through 1961 when she and Paul settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is published. Julie and Julia's scenes are always separate; they never meet and their stories are never in the same time period.
In real life, Meryl is 5′6″ (1.67 meters), while the real Julia Child was actually 6′2″ (1.88 meters). Camera angles, adjusted sets, and high heeled shoes were used to force perspective and make Streep appear as if she was Julia Child's height.
Julie successfully completes the 524th recipe, which requires boning a duck, and serves it ceremoniously to her guests at a dinner party atop the roof. Following the completion of the year long project, Julie attends the Julia Child Kitchen exhibit at the Smithsonian, where she is photographed in front of several pictures of Julia Child and leaves a pound of butter as a tribute. In the final scene, Julia enters the roped off kitchen, lifts the lid from her orange Le Creuset pot, takes a whiff of the dish (Navarin D'Agneau, a lamb stew), and stirs it. Paul enters the kitchen with the mail, sits down at the table, and hands Julia a package. She opens it to find a copy of her newly-published cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A written epilogue then says:
Paul Child died in 1994 at the age of 92. Julia Child died in 2004 at the age of 91. "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is now in its 49th printing. Julie Powell's book, "Julie & Julia" was published in 2005. She and Eric still live in Queens, although they no longer live over a pizzeria. She is a writer. Her book has been made into a movie.
The song is called, "It's Amazing" by Jem. The other song is called "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash.
This is what Julie Powell wrote about it on her blog:
A lot of people have been asking whether it's true that Julia Child wasn't a big fan of Julie Powell, and whether she and I really didn't meet. Both of those things are true - Julia, I think, from what I gather, was less irritated than simply uninterested. Which, when I first found out, was of course devastating. But the thing about Julia, to me, was that she was a real person - a great 6-foot-2 force of nature, with tremendous gifts, nearly limitless energy and generosity, firm opinions, and even a few flaws. That's what I love about her - she inspired because she was a woman, not a saint. Not to say that her not loving my blog was a flaw. I just mean that the fact that she might not for whatever reason adore me as much as I adore her has absolutely no bearing on what is wonderful about her. Throughout her life, Julia nurtured and encouraged and gave great help to chefs and writers both. And she changed my life. No matter what she - or anyone else, for that matter - thought of the project. I know why I did what I did, and I am proud that I spent a year writing and cooking in tribute to one the most wonderful women I've ever not met. I have read in several places that Julia was aware of the blog, never read it, but was told that it was full of foul language and therefore she felt that Julie was making a mockery of something Julia holds so dear. That is what I read... does not mean that it is true. Interesting question, though.
Jones says Child did not approve of Powell's cook-every-recipe-in-one-year project. The editor and author read Powell's blog together ("Julie and Julia" was published a year after Child's 2004 death). Julia said, "I don't think she's a serious cook." Jones thinks there was a generational difference between Powell and Child. Flinging around four-letter words when cooking isn't attractive, to me or Julia. She didn't want to endorse it. What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt. She would never really describe the end results, how delicious it was, and what she learned. Julia didn't like what she called the flimsies. She didn't suffer fools, if you know what I mean.
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