In the final scene, Julia Child opens a large envelope from her publisher with a copy of her first cookbook inside (published by Knopf, 1961). The envelope is of the Bubble-Wrap variety. Bubble-Wrap itself didn't receive the US Patent (Number 3,142,599) until July 28, 1964. Envelopes of that type started appearing in the late 70's.
In the scene when Julia Child is speaking to her French teacher in the library, she is using the word "salesperson". But this is a "gender-neutral" neologism created in the late 20th century. In 1950, an American would have used the word "saleslady" for "vendeuse".
The movie opens in 1949 in Paris. In several establishing shots, including the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame Cathedral, all the buildings appear to be a light tan sandstone color. Until the cleaning projects by culture minister Andre Malreaux in the late 1960s, all the famous buildings in Paris were quite black from centuries of pollution.
When Paul Child is being questioned in Washington there is a pack of Lucky Strike in a green pack. Famously "Lucky Strike green went to war" because the ink contained chromium, a strategic material. Lucky Strike green never came back and the replacement design by Raymond Lowey in white which was introduced early in the war is still in use today and was in the 50s.
At the beginning of the film, Julie Powell sits in her office cubicle speaking on the phone. At the background, Microsoft Word 2003 is opened on her computer (notice the bluish-rounded style with an amber highlight on the format task-bar). The scene is dated 2002, while Microsoft Office 2003 was released only on November 17, 2003, succeeding the grayish-rectangular styled Office XP.
The library "Shakespeare and Company", where Julia is looking for a cooking book opened in 1951 under the name "Le Mistral". It became "Shakespeare and Company" only in 1964. Previously, a bookstore named "Shakespeare and Company" existed in Paris, but it closed in 1940.
Throughout the film, Paul Child's glasses can be seen to have a modern anti-reflective coating on them, years before such coatings became available. The tell-tale green sheen on the lenses is particularly visible during the outdoor wedding party.
In the scene where Julia Child receives a letter about publishing her first book in 1961 (or earlier). The letter carrier bears a blue and red patch with a horse and rider facing left. These patches did not come into service until 1965. The appropriate patch should be a maroon patch with the horse and rider facing the right (backwards) when worn on the left shoulder.
The opening scenes of the movie clearly state that we are in Paris in 1949. The Buick station wagon is a 1950 model (identifiable by the squared portholes in the hood - not round portholes in the fenders - and the "malocclusion" chrome grille). Even allowing that the model year began in September then, it's highly unlikely the Childs would have had a brand-new 1950 Buick available to be shipped to France.
At the 6:14 mark, Julie is walking down a street in Queens with Midtown Manhattan's skyline behind her. Despite this part of the movie was set in 2002, Bloomberg Tower is clearly visible on the right. It was built in 2004.
When cooking Julia Child's classic boeuf bourguignon, Julie Powell uses a Bordeaux or Bordeaux style wine rather than the burgundy or burgundy style wine (Pinot Noir) called for in all beef bourguignon recipes (including Child's).
When making the famous boeuf bourguignon recipe, both Julie Powell and Judith Jones use cloth towels to dry the beef, when the recipe specifically calls for paper towels. This is a minor change - and the recipe would not suffer as a result - but both women were taking care to follow Julia Child's instructions to the letter (although for very different reasons). Neither would have made the choice to change even the smallest detail of the recipe.
In the wedding reception scene, Paul refers to Julia's mother as "Phila." Julia's mother was actually also named Julia; Phila (Philadelphia) was her as yet unborn niece. The credits repeat this mistake.
When Julia Child and Simca enter Louisette's apartment to meet Irma Rombauer, there is a bowl of strawberries on a side table. In the next shot, Louisette is shown carrying the bowl of strawberries in from the other room.
(at around 30 mins) When Julie (Amy Adams) is talking to Sarah (Mary Lynn Rajskub) in a bar. In the first shot we see, through the window, Julie leaning her left elbow on the counter, holding a drink in her left hand. In the next shot, Julie leans with her right elbow on the counter, holding that drink in her right hand. The dialogue is continuous between these shots, so there's no question of time elapsed and for these two women to have swapped places at the bar.
(at around 20 mins) When Julie Powell and her husband are driving in their jeep to the new apartment, you can see the camera that is secured to the car in the lower right hand corner. It is a visible shadow and you are able to see the camera lens reflection.
In the opening scenes, Julia Child and Paul Child pull up to their Paris apartment. Their Parisian apartment was at 81 Rue de l'Université (aka "Roo de Loo"). The apartment building the Childs pull up to in the film is number 10.
The film has Judith Jones stand Julie Powell up due to bad weather. Jones told the Boston Globe in August 2009 that, in fact, she had wanted to meet Julie "because I wasn't sure how you put a blog together and I also wanted to talk about recipe rights", but canceled because "Julia Child looked at her blog and didn't think Julie was a serious cook. There were all these four-letter words - that isn't how you describe food if you care and if you're a good writer. Julia thought we shouldn't have anything to do with it."
While it is true that Julia Child and Paul Child were early critics of Joseph McCarthy, the spat between Julia and her father over McCarthy at Dorothy's wedding reception is fiction. Although elected to the Senate in 1946, McCarthy was not a household name in 1951, when Dorothy got married, and simply did not have the kind of pull that would have forced Paul to go to Washington for questioning. Mr. McWilliams was, in fact, a supporter of Richard Nixon.
In the scene where Julie Powell is writing in her blog about being stood up by Judith Jones, she is typing on her laptop. In the close-up when she decides to press the delete key, the key appears to be that of a full-size keyboard, not a laptop.
The scene involving Paul Child's photographing a food display in their kitchen, he uses a Rolleiflex camera. While shooting he winds the crank approximately one-and-a-half turns, when loaded with film the transport only requires 2/3 of a turn and stops automatic. So actually he was using an empty camera.
In most scenes Julia Child is shown to be a couple of inches taller than Paul Child. However, when they are getting up to dance following a fight with her father about Joseph McCarthy, they are side by side for a moment and Julia's shoulder is several inches below Paul's (because Meryl Streep is actually much shorter than the real Julia). However, when the movie was shown on TV, this goof had been hidden by two people dancing in the foreground.
When Julia Child is with the other 2 women in the kitchen while being lectured on how to boil an egg, she is clearly standing on a platform to make her taller than the other women, as evidenced by her ankles. However, when the movie was shown on TV, this goof had been hidden by the top rail of a chair in the foreground.
When Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is checking out the new bed, we see her kick off her shoes and lie down; the shoes in that scene are clearly not the ones she had on when she got out of the car upon their arrival, but the specially made lifts that Streep had to wear in order to appear taller. You'll notice that in many scenes the view of her legs/feet are obscured to hide the lifts, but not in this scene.
(at around 1 min) Julie Powell is talking to her mom about blogging. All the sudden you hear the noise of the phone shutting off from the battery going dead. But when Julie looks at the phone and says "stupid battery", she pushes the off button (presumably) and you hear the noise as if it was just shut off. How can that happen if the battery already died?
When Julia Child is teaching basic tasks with the other ladies at their cooking school, during the shot one can see the checkered platform under Julia's feet to make her appear taller. However, when the movie was shown on TV, this goof had been hidden by a bowl of fruit in the foreground.