Julie & Julia (2009) directed by Nora Ephron
If it weren't for blogging, Julie Powell and the movie Julie & Julia, I would have remained oblivious to the remarkable and driven Julia Child and her classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My earliest memories of cookbooks were a plastic covered cookbook about cake decorating and The Joy of Cooking Hurricane Luis left at our doorsteps in 1995. Anyway, I am, today, a firm believer in the 'home cooked meal'.
Although some critics preferred to carve Julie & Julia into just Julia, I think this film about a redeemed writer is good just the way it is. It features the lives of two women in two different periods in their lives; both needs something to do.
Meryl Streep, who played Julia Child, is quiet, tough and nonchalant in the face of opposition while Julia Powell, played by Amy Adams, flops, fusses and throws ‘adult’ tantrums. Powell’s character is more emotional in expression, self-conceited and has more room in the film to change those things about herself, with the help of her grounded and mature inspiration, of course. Her love and devotion [obsession, in my opinion] to her role model, Julia Child, helps reintroduce a culinary icon to a new generation.
At the cusp of her 30th year, Julie Powell, a disheartened writer of an incomplete novel, cooks her way through all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook in order to add spice and meaning to her mundane life.
So, what can a writer learn from this film? Quite a lot. Here are my Julie & Julia writing tips:
To some, it seems unfair that Julie Powell gets the glory. Yes, Julia Child cooked and tested and wrote for eight years despite many rejections. Yes, Julie Powell struck it big when within a year her blog, The Julie/Julia Project, received a book and movie deal. However, what I like most is that Julie & Julia triggers a longing or a slight curiosity in viewers to find out more about the legend that sparked Julie’s inspiration to write and live again. Besides, with the Internet, you can do your own research about Julia Child. Julie Powell did hers.
Happy Writing & Discovery
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures