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Julie & Julia – an excellent if somewhat puzzling film - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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August 10th, 2009


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02:16 pm - Julie & Julia – an excellent if somewhat puzzling film
Yesterday, I went to see Julie & Julia with teaotter, Aaron, and xtricks. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I thought the acting was first rate and highly recommend it. However, it was also a somewhat odd film. Meryl Streep did an absolutely incredible job as Julia Child, and the sections of the film about her life showed a rich and fascinating, if also difficult life filled with people and many changes. In vivid contrast, while I think Amy Adams did a good job as Julie Powell, I was somewhat puzzled by way her life was depicted. She was not only shown to have a barren life largely devoid of other people, but this wasn't something that particularly changed in the course of the film – she was essentially the same person at the end of the film as at the beginning. Also, in the films, we see Julia Child learn to cook, write a book, and then struggle to get it published, with many setbacks, revisions, and a great deal of work, a story of struggle and triumph. In vivid contrast, we see Julie Powell learn to cook and write her blog, then she gets a newspaper interview and suddenly offers of agents, and book and film contracts magically appear without effort – Julia Child is shown have a difficult struggle getting published, while Julie Powell is shown to have faerie-tale success that drops from the sky. I'm quite puzzled at the choice to show how Julia Child's efforts affected her and her life, while giving us nothing similar about Julie Powell. There was clearly a point in the film about the bareness of much modern life, but there was also no real indication that Julie Powell's life got any less barren though her efforts, merely wealthier and more successful. It was an excellent film, but I remain puzzled at some of the choices that were made.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lyssabard
Date:August 10th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
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That's essentially what the Post tore apart in the movie. And may be that in and of itself is a comment on the 30-somethings middle class culture, I am thinking. I really want to see this movie but I have a feeling that the idea of even remotely comparing Powell's life to Child's, as if there is a similarity in struggle, is a stretch.

Anyway, here's the scathing review of the Powell half of the movie. Either way, I still want to see it:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/julie-and-julia,1152840/critic-review.html#reviewNum1


[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:August 10th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
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I didn't hate Powell's character nearly as much as the reviewer did, but I definitely understand the review. It's definitely worth seeing. Also, I had read that the cooking scenes in the film actually involve the actors cooking, and you can tell in the film. It's definitely a film that made me hungry.
[User Picture]
From:lyssabard
Date:August 10th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Ok good. I wasn't sure if the vitriol was deserved or not, and I generally agree with most of your opinions.

Watching the most recent ep of True Blood tonight, btw.
Are you watching this season?
(Lafayette OMG!).

[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:August 10th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
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Are you watching this season?

Absolutely. I love it. I also love what they're doing with Lafayette, and I'm very pleased that this season seems to be sticking to the book even less well than the previous season. I also loved the bit in ep 6 where Eggs and Tara found the scene of the previous revel/sacrifice, that was wonderfully creepy.
[User Picture]
From:rjgrady
Date:August 11th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
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Maybe the point is that Julia is Julia, and Julie is not, but by her inspiration, Julie is able to take comfort in the banal but worthwhile.
[User Picture]
From:used_songs
Date:August 11th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. My partner and I had planned to see it, and then we read a bunch of negative reviews and elected to wait. Maybe we should go after all.

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