No self-respecting food blogger could not write about the film Julie & Julia, even if only in passing. I won’t actually go into “review” mode here. However, in case you might have missed it, the movie is based on two books: Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme. Figuring prominently in both was the mother of all French cooking tomes, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle, and Julia Child.
Two years ago, I brought Ms Powell’s book along with me on a trip home to my parents. It was a quick and breezy read and I admired her challenge of working her way through 524 recipes over the course of a year. In fact, it prompted me to pick up my very own copy of MtAoFC (as Julie efficiently labels it). It is a classic, after all, and I certainly couldn’t deprive myself of yet another cookbook. In order to qualify for free shipping (“D*mn you, Amazon!!!”), I had to top up my order and selected Prud-homme’s memoir of his great grand aunt Julia.
I think MtAoFC received more attention than all my other cookbooks combined. Seriously. I sat down and read it cover to cover. I don’t think I’d cook much from it, and the recipes are somewhat dated. But 16 pages on how to make a soufflé was just too much enjoyment for me. Definitely food porn…in a literary way. Anyway, the memoir was a lovely companion piece to her cookbook since it essentially documented said book’s conception and birth. I didn’t know much about her before (although I could do a wicked impression), and I walked away from both books marveling at her passion, fortitude and zest.
The film is a nice tribute to both Julie and Julia, and that’s exactly what it was…a gentle reflection on both these women, whipping up a gastronomical storm. Meryl Streep really does deserve accolades for her success in channelling la Grande Gourmande. Read My Life in France, though; it really deserved to have a movie all to itself.