Julie and Julia
If you like food and stories about foodies, you’ll love this film. It tells the story of chef Julia Child and her start in the cooking profession. Her story is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book, the 1961 ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. As a film plot it sounds odd, but it works and it is the first major motion picture based on a blog.
In 2002, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is a young writer trapped in a rather unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s call centre, where she answers telephone calls from victims of the September 11 attacks, as well as members of the general public calling to complain about the LMDC’s controversial plans for rebuilding the World Trade Centre. To enliven her dreary life, she attempts to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was published in 1961, and writes a blog to document her progress.
Woven into her story is the story of Julia Child’s time in Paris, in the 1950s, in which she learns about French cooking. The film switches back and forth between contemporary America and post-war Paris,
Eventually, Julie’s blog is highlighted in a story published in the New York Times, after which her project finally begins to receive the attention of journalists, literary agents, and publishers, she seems to get the praise and fame she has craved, but she gets a dismissive response from Child herself. Was Julia Child correct in her condemnation of Julie Powell?