Passion. Ambition. Butter. Do You Have What It Takes?
"A scrumptious feast! The feel-good movie of the year! Kevin Steincross, Fox-TV
|A culinary legend provides a frustrated office worker with a new recipe for life in Julie & Julia, the true stories of how Julia Child's (Meryl Streep) life and cookbook inspired fledgling writer Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to whip up 524 recipes in 365 days and introduce a new generation to the magic of French cooking. Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) co-stars in director Nora Ephron's delicious comedy about joy, obsession and butter. Bon appetit!|
"It hooks you up, happily, to your inner top chef. Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Meryl Streep is at her brilliant, beguiling best! Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Nora Ephron adapts Julie Powell's autobiographical book "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" with this Columbia Pictures production starring Amy Adams as an amateur chef who decides to cook every recipe in a cookbook from acclaimed celebrity chef Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) in order to chronicle it in a blog over the course of a year. Streep's THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA co-star Stanley Tucci re-teams with the actress as Child's husband.
Cast & Crew
4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]nyone with even fleeting interest in writing or in eating will want to revel in this two hour long celebration of love, life and Lobster Thermador."
"Delivering an elegant approximation of the woman's distinctly flutelike vocal pitch and endearing mannerisms, Streep abundantly conveys the warmth, rich humor and joie de vivre so evident in Julia's TV appearances and her writing."
"The performances go a long way toward selling the characters; Meryl Streep creates an uncanny version of Julia Child, of course with a spot-on accent."
"[Meryl Streep] is too fantastic for words....Streep's larger-than-life Julia is kept earthbound -- barely -- by the always-welcome Tucci, who gives a graceful performance as an unassuming diplomat with a big heart..."
Los Angeles Times
"JULIE & JULIA does it right. A consummate entertainment that echoes the rhythms and attitudes of classic Hollywood, it's a satisfying throwback to those old-fashioned movie fantasies where impossible dreams do come true."
3 stars out of 4 -- "It's a light and entertaining treat, with winning performances, sharp writing and some happy surprises."
Wall Street Journal
"The remarkable thing about the Julia segments, given Ms. Streep's daring flirtations with caricature, is how full and affecting they prove to be."
New York Times
"JULIE & JULIA proceeds with such ease and charm that its audacity -- a no-nonsense, plucky self-confidence embodied by the indomitable Julia herself -- is easy to miss."
"[T]artly witty....JULIE & JULIA is the movie American foodie culture has been waiting for." -- Grade: B
"Meryl Streep -- and her brilliant, beguiling best -- is the spice that does the trick for the yummy JULIE & JULIA..."
ReelViews 6 of 10
There are two serious problems with Julie & Julia - one is structural and the other pertains to dramatic thrust. Before discussing those, however, let me say a few words about the acting. Meryl Streep's interpretation of the iconic chef is uncanny. For about two hours, Streep is Julia, and it's not merely a case of mimicry. She's so good that one can almost understand the existence of the film merely as an excuse to get Streep on screen in the role. Alas, movies need more than top performances to succeed. Streep's co-star (for the second time in less than a year) is Amy Adams who, with a shorter hairstyle than she has sported in recent movies, is adorable as always, even playing a character who is amazingly self-centered (a self-confessed "bitch"). She brings some heft to a part that could have been written for Meg Ryan 15 years ago. (Julie Powell's dialogue sounds a lot like Sally Albright's.) Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina, as the respective husbands of Julia and Julie, provide able, albeit largely unmemorable, support...This is Nora Ephron's first feature since 2005's Bewitched (the less said about that, the better), and she hasn't had a bona fide success in more than a decade (since 1998's You've Got Mail). Known primarily as a chick flick purveyor, Ephron slots Julie & Julia into that category. It's moderately successful in addressing some fairly standard issues about finding oneself through doing something one loves (in this case, cooking), but it's less effective in developing the sort of mouth-watering food-related experience delivered by the likes of Babette's Feast, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Big Night (which also featured Tucci). Despite showing plenty of meals and dishes, Ephron lacks the directorial skill to stimulate the salivary glands. Arguably, the best parts of Julie & Julia are the re-creations of segments from The French Chef and an airing of Dan Aykroyd's classic parody. As good as Streep is, however, it's still more enjoyable to watch the originals, and the SNL bit can easily be found elsewhere. Consequently, the best that Julie & Julia has to offer doesn't require seeing the movie at all.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
Did you ever want to take a three-day bus trip sitting next to Julia Child? Just asking. In 30-minute programs on TV, she was priceless. But to live with her, I suspect, must have taken the patience of a saint. Her husband Paul in Julie & Julia is portrayed as a saint, so that explains her marriage...Now about Julie Powell. That's the woman who wrote an online journal documenting her vow to cook all the way through Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 524 recipes in 365 days. She is also married to a patient man, although he retains enough self-respect to walk out for a few days half-way through her project. Together, they make just about enough money to live above a pizza parlor in Queens. How do they pay for all those groceries?...The performances go a long way toward selling the characters; Meryl Streep creates an uncanny version of Julia Child, of course with a spot-on accent. She seems to have grown several inches to play the great 6'2" chef. Stanley Tucci, playing her diplomat husband, stands 5'8" in real life. The movie somewhat diminishes this difference, but at no point, however, does he seem capable of denying anything to his beloved goddess...Amy Adams could make anyone lovable, but with Julie Powell, it's sometimes a stretch. Julie is so single-minded about her obsession that it comes to dominate her married life. Having cooked a few of Julia Child's recipes myself, I doubt there are many you can start on after getting home, some nights, as late as 8 or 9. The dinner bell seems to have rung at the Powell household after midnight, although the wait was mellowed by a remarkable number of martinis...Julie & Julia is not lacking in entertainment value, especially with the Streep performance. But if the men had been portrayed as more high-spirited, it might have taken on intriguing dimensions. Both husbands are, frankly, a little boring: They've been assigned their supporting roles in their marriages and are reluctant to question the singlemindedness of their wives...All the same, credit is due. Julia Child really did write a cookbook that changed American culinary history. And Julie Powell really did cook her way through 524 recipes in 365 days. I am currently writing a cookbook titled The Pot and How to Use It, about how you can cook almost anything in a rice cooker. Take my word for it, it's not going to take anyone a year to cook their way through this one.
- Roger Ebert