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Julie & Julia (2009)
too much Julie, not enough Julia
I want to reiterate what Anderson said. I read the book and was so utterly disappointed that I tossed the book into the rubbish. I rarely do that and usually donate to libraries, but in this case, I didn't want to share the pain inflicted by reading it.
Nevertheless, being a fan of Julia I was compelled to see the movie. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were outstanding. Her portrayal of Julia Child was captivating and nothing short of brilliant. Unfortunately those parts were too few. Instead the viewer gets an overload of this self-absorbed whiny bi-polar type character that annoyed me so much that I left during one of her parts. While she was on the screen it was as painful as reading the book.
It would be wonderful if they would take the same two actors (Meryl and Stanley) and make a full movie of just that.
It was so apparent that Julie was trying to use the fame of Julia Childs for her own benefit. It's not ethical, period! And she even tries to be a sad little victim after it was implied that Julia didn't endorse her. grrrrr! I don't admire anyone who uses people like that, especially passionless whiny people who seem to act like everything revolves around them.
So, seven stars go only to the portrayal of Julia and husband. and 1 star to the Julie character because it was a fun idea to do the blog on the recipe experiment. I just didn't like the lack of passion and the free ride she took on a lovely brilliant lady who gave so much to us amateur chefs.
Most anyone can be taught things, but the charm and passion come from within. Julia was one in a million!
River Queen (2005)
excellent on many different levels
When I saw the two stars that the NZ Herald gave it I was not discouraged because the same critique gave King Kong 5 stars, which was the worst movie I've seen all year! River Queen was a beautiful movie. The depiction of the musket wars of colonial NZ was outstanding. The unique beauty of the NZ scenery was stunning, the music, which seemed to be an amazing mixture of Maori and Irish influence was very moving and added a great deal to the energy of the movie as a whole. The dramatic musical piece that was played just before the battles enhanced the anticipation of it all.
I also have to add that when Boy did the solo I was so mesmerized by his voice that I didn't realize that he was singing an Irish song! I would see the movie again just for that scene alone! I enjoyed watching the characters. I don't think the acting was brilliant, although the boy was superb in the one scene where he's telling his mother off, but the actors themselves were attractive and enjoyable to watch.
I would highly recommend this movie if you enjoy stunning scenery, visual artistic effects with water and color, a good story based on history, and nicely placed and original use of music, or if you enjoy learning the history of a very unique culture that so few people know of.